• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 25 January 2019 16:33

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C - 2019

Written by Fr Larry Nemer SVD

Fr Larry Nemer SVD 150Having been baptised by John and confirmed he His Father (“This is my well-beloved Son; listen to him), Jesus began to preach the message of God’s love.  He started in the same area where John was preaching and He must have been a very attractive preacher because John’s disciples were concerned that there were now crowds who began to follow Him instead of John.  His style of preaching was very different from John’s.  Jesus’ emphasis was not so much on the need for conversion and a more serious following of the religious laws as was John’s but rather on the love God has for all people – especially the blind, the lame, and the poor.  Having been baptized by John and confirmed he His Father (“This is my well-beloved Son; listen to him), Jesus began to preach the message of God’s love.  He started in the same area where John was preaching and He must have been a very attractive preacher because John’s disciples were concerned that there were now crowds who began to follow Him instead of John.  His style of preaching was very different from John’s.  Jesus’ emphasis was not so much on the need for conversion and a more serious following of the religious laws as was John’s but rather on the love God has for all people – especially the blind, the lame, and the poor.  


After John was arrested Jesus left the area around the Jordan River and began to preach in the synagogues in His province of Galilee.  In today’s gospel He appears in the synagogue in His home town, Nazareth.  There He makes the bold statement that the love of God and God’s care for his people is now being experienced in His ministry of healing and preaching.  He was bringing the “good news” of God’s love for them.  His healing and His preaching taught them something that they might very well have forgotten – that God loved them and wanted only the best for them.


This is the preaching that we Christians are constantly called on to do.  Pope Francis’ first encyclical was entitled “The Joy of the Gospel”.  I was reminded of the need to bring this joy to others several times in my early ministry.  I was only ordained three months when I was asked to take the place of a hospital chaplain who was going on vacation.  It was a totally new world for me.  The Sisters who were in charge of the hospital took it on themselves to “educate” me.  One Sister in particular told me: “Father, be sure to visit the Intensive Care Unit before you go to bed at night because one never knows what might happen during the night.”


So my first night in the hospitral I went to the ICU and the very first person I met was a sixteen year old girl who was in great pain with many different drips attached to her.  Her question was: “why is God doing this to me?”  Fortunately the Sister in charge had told me that although the girl was in a lot of pain, she would have an operation the next day and there should be no problems with the recovery.  I tried to tell the young girl that it was not God who was doing this to her, but that didn’t sound very comforting or convincing.  So I assured her of my prayers and said I felt certain that all would go well with her operation.  “And then,” I said, “after you feel strong enough I will take you across the street and buy you a milkshake.”    She smiled and asked: “Is that a promise?”  I said: “yes”.  After a week she was at my office door and said: “I am ready for the milkshake.”  Reflecting on this later I thought that we cannot always bring immediate healing as Jesus did, but we can bring a word of hope that will give the person peace and a trust in God’s love.  It was visible in her face as I was leaving.  This too is bringing the “joy of the Gospel”.


While still a young priest I also learned that joy could be brought by bringing a certain freedom to a person who does not feel like a free child of God.  In a parish where I helped on week-ends a young girl of 13 came to talk with me.  It was hard for her to say it, but she said that her older brother had sex with her.  She felt that something must be wrong with her and she must be an awful person – that what happened was her fault.  As we talked she began to accept the fact that something evil had happened to her but that it was not her fault –- that she herself was not evil.  Towards the end of our conversation she began to move her arms and legs in the chair in which she was sitting.  I said to her: “Cindy, you look like someone who has been tied up for a long ttime but who is now free.”  “That is exactly the way I feel,” she said.  So the “good news” that she heard that morning was that she was a good person who was deeply loved by God.  Another example of “trhe joy of the Gospel”.


This is the message that Jesus preached; and this is the message that Jesus wants us to preach.  It is this message that will bring hope and healing.  It really will bring the “joy of the Gospel” to others.