3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday, January 23, 2022

Father Jim Donohue's picture

Father Jim Donohue

January 17, 2022

The last verses from the Prophet Malachi, which concludes the Old Testament, looks forward to the “Day of the Lord.” This is the long-awaited day of salvation. It is the day when God will turn the hearts of fathers and mothers to their sons and daughters, and the hearts of sons and daughters to their fathers and mothers. This day will be a day of peace and of great rejoicing for God will visit God’s people!

The Prophet Isaiah had spoken about certain signs that will enable everyone to know when the Day of the Lord arrives: the blind will see, the lame will walk, good news will be proclaimed to the poor, and those who are held captive will be set free. Jesus reads from this same passage and, after rolling up the scroll and handing it back to the synagogue official, says, “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your midst.” In other words, today is the day; today is the day of salvation; today is the long-awaited day when God will visit God’s people. The Day of the Lord has come.

There is a question to be answered from this point on in Luke’s gospel: who will accept this long-awaited visitor and who will reject him? We already saw during the Christmas season, that there was no ready reception for him at his birth; after all, he was born in a stable, for there was no room in the inn for him. During the next weeks we will encounter people who will invite Jesus into their lives, accepting him and what he longs to do for and with them. But we will also encounter people whose hearts are hard and long to be rid of him. And what about us? How hospitable will we be to the “visitor from on high?” How will we make room for him?