THE DOOHAN DISCOURSE: 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

My homily for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) as preached at the 5.30pm Saturday evening Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hamilton.

The readings were Nehemiah 8:2-6, 8-10; 1 Corinthians 12:12-30;

Ten words. That’s all Jesus spoke. It’s one of the shortest sermons recorded in human history. Ten words.

There’s no need for him to say anything more than that because everything had already been said in the reading from Isaiah that he had read aloud in that synagogue. He had proclaimed what it was that God had sent him for, hence the reason why he was able to say so succinctly: “Today this reading is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Ten simple words, because the word of God had been sent to proclaim that which was already being proclaimed by Isaiah. The word of God made incarnate in Jesus Christ was there to do exactly what God had prophesied through Isaiah all those centuries ago.

And so that’s what he did.

He went from that place as we hear about at the beginning of this particular gospel and he goes out into the whole of the countryside and fulfils it by doing exactly what Isaiah says. By proclaiming liberty to captives, sight for the blind, healing for those sick, a year that is acceptable to the Lord. He does all these things and sets us an example to know what it is that we are called to do as Christians.

We don’t have to go too far to know what it is that we are called to do. It’s right there. In the example of Jesus, we are called to do exactly the same thing. We are called to do and fulfil those things that he himself was sent to do by the Father.

So why do people wonder what it is that we’re supposed to do?

Possibly because they haven’t delved into the book of the prophet Isaiah, I would suggest. Maybe they haven’t actually engaged with the Scriptures. Maybe they haven’t encountered the living word of God that is Jesus Christ. But if we have, and that’s what we proclaim by our presence here tonight, we know exactly what it is that we are called to do.

So on this Sunday in Ordinary Time, as we hear the beginning of this particular gospel proclaimed, let’s go out and do those things we are called to do. It’s simple.

All we have to do is listen to the things that have been taught to us by the word of God, in the Scriptures, in the presence of God among us that is Jesus Christ.

And go out and do exactly that. Simple. Just like the ten words that he spoke that day.

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