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Saturday, 22 January 2022 11:58

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A - 2022


 Reflection for Sunday, 23rd January, 2022

Bill Burt 150When Jesus began his ministry in Nazareth , he stood before a group of faithful people who had gathered in the synagogue there, and he quoted words that had been written by the prophet, Isaiah, centuries before: “The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted and broken hearted.” (Luke 4:18) 

I wonder if in Jesus’ time there was a dearth of good news as there is today! One of the most depressing activities that most of us share is listening to, or reading the daily news. We are constantly bombarded with bad news, local, national and international. Did this happen in Jesus’ time? Local news was probably more of the gossip variety, while some news about goings on around the country would filter down to the people eventually. Almost nothing would have been known about the world at large.

However, on the personal and interpersonal level, we know that people have always suffered. Sickness and misery, abject poverty, toxic, broken and destructive relationships have always been. All those things which we regard as negatives were as much a part of people’s lives in the past, as they are today.

So when Jesus identified himself as being a bearer of positive, good news, his listeners would have been “turned on”. When he talked they listened. Positive, GOOD news was something they hungered for. When they witnessed that he didn’t just say nice words, but actually caused positive changes in people’s lives, they said, “Yes! This man really does bring good news!”

Each time we reflect on a Gospel, which as we know is an old English word “good news”, we are invited to allow Jesus’ teaching to really be good for us. Two thousand years ago, all forms of negativity didn’t suddenly disappear in the lives of Jesus’ listeners, but those who took on board what he said, really did experience a goodness that hadn’t been there before.

The proof that this happened is the fact that we, in 2022, are still able to be “turned on” by Jesus’ message. Those first Christians said, “Yes! This IS good news!  We MUST share it with others!” They did so. From then on, right to the present day, one generation has passed on the good news to the next, and the message of good news continues to spread throughout the world.

We are invited to listen to the good news proclaimed by Jesus and his followers, and to allow it to permeate our lives. If we do this, we can be helped to see the bad news, which is so prolific and so prominent, in a better perspective. Everything isn’t bad. Love can prevail. Deep down joy can be experienced. The good news of Jesus can give us “the how” to enable this to happen.


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In the spirit of reconciliation, the Society of the Divine Word, Australia Province, acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea, sky, and community.

We acknowledge their skin-groups, story-lines, traditions, religiosity and living cultures.

We pay respect to their elders, past, present, and emerging, and extend that respect to all indigenous peoples of New Zealand, Thailand, and Myanmar.

We are committed to building with them, a brighter future together.