Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 23, 2022

Sister Evangeline Salazar OSB reflects on the scripture readings: Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10; 1 Corinthians 12:12-30; Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.

He has anointed me to preach

good news to the poor.

He has sent me to heal

the brokenhearted,

to proclaim freedom for the prisoners,

vision to the blind,

and to free the oppressed.

Who are you?

I ask myself.

And my mission?

What is it?

Jesus tells us clearly

who He is

and what He is to do.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Him,

he tells us.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon us too.

We, like Jesus

were baptized

and the Spirit descended upon us.

So now, we know

who we are.

Throughout His life,

all of Jesus’s

actions and decisions

flowed from His belief

that the Spirit was leading Him.

Jesus does not simply say

he has been anointed.

He tells us

he was anointed for a purpose,

and the purpose was

to bring glad tidings to the poor

And we?

As followers of Jesus,

as his disciples,

we gave been anointed

to do as Jesus did:

Hang out with sinners.

upset religious leaders,

tell stories that make people think,

choose unpopular friends.

Be kind, loving, and merciful,

put others first,

serve the people on the margins,

take naps on boats.

Nehemiah encourages us

“Go eat rich food, and drink sweet drinks,

And share with those who have nothing.

For today is holy.

Do not be sad.

for rejoicing in the Lord

must be our strength.”

St. Paul, reminds us

of the vital importance of diversity.

We are each

a part of the body of Christ

gifted by the Spirit

to bring

something unique to the world

as individuals

as community.

Quoting Mary McGlone:

Today’s liturgy invites us

to ask the Spirit

to continue to reveal our path to us

to lead us to recognize our gifts

and how to use them.

In the end, in different languages

and through different activities

each of us who follow Christ

are invited to live the truth that,

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon us

and has anointed us

to bring glad tidings to the poor.”