THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Green) Cycle C/Year II (January 24, 2016)
Neh 8:2-4, 5-6, 8-10/1Cor 12:12-30/Lk 1:1-4; 4:14-21
After a period of time of preaching the good news of salvation to the neighboring towns and upon reaching his home town Nazareth, Jesus Christ entered the synagogue during a Sabbath and read a scriptural passage which said “the Spirit of the Lord is on me” that referred to the long awaited messiah. After reading the passage, he sat down and the Jewish attention was on him as they waited for His preaching. Jesus then began His preaching by declaring with the following words that He was the messiah: “This text is being fulfilled today even while you are listening” (Lk 4:21). People were amazed at His preaching and He won their approval.
Though not Jews, we somehow feel what the Jews felt as they waited for the promised Messiah. The National elections are fast approaching and we become acquainted with the promising political candidates, both local and national, whose presence we perceive not only in the televisions and radios but also in the magazines, newspapers and even in the streets. Aware of the global economic recession, of the natural calamities that constantly befall on our place, and of our financial, moral and social needs, these politicians seem to offer us what in our heart we deeply want: a savior. Indeed, we need a messiah to free us from this seemingly hopeless situation in which we presently encounter ourselves.
Are the politicians our long awaited messiah? During the past elections, we already gave our hope, future and votes to them; still, our situation never improves and the worst is that it seems that there is no way out. Our politicians never change just as we are. While voters keep on selling their votes, politicians keep on corrupting the funds that are meant to help alleviate the miserable situation of the Filipinos. Politicians then are not the messiah.
There is only one Messiah, the One whom God has anointed with the Holy Spirit and He is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. Only to Him we can hope for our new life, for a new situation of our society, for a better economic condition of our country, for our success and for a peaceful and a happy life. But how can Jesus Christ change us and our society? Let us remember that Christ not only died two thousand years ago but also resurrected and He lives both in Heaven and among us. Our Savior never leaves us; rather, He is constantly present to us whenever we express our faith in Him through our private prayers and public worship and most especially through the Holy Eucharist. Let us also remember the fact that we are anointed with Christ’s Spirit when we received the Sacrament of Baptism. We have become one with our Messiah and Jesus lives in us.
Christ can save us from our spiritual, material and social failures through ourselves. He can change our society by changing ourselves and by giving us enough grace to work for the betterment of our society. In other words, we do not wait for Christ as if we are waiting for the President of our Nation to bring relief goods to us. No. Christ never wants us to become dependent. Besides, there is no reason to wait for the messiah because Christ is already here with us. He lives in us; He is present to us whenever we pray; and He is there in the Holy Eucharist being offered to us as food for our soul. We are then called by Christ to live His life and His teachings in our daily activities and lives. We are then moved by the Spirit of Christ to work for our salvation, for the betterment of the political, economic and social situation of our province and our nation. In other words, since Christ lives in us, we are now then the saviors who are expected to do our obligations as worthy citizens and faithful Christians. Let us feel the presence of God in us as we say with Christ: “The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted” (Lk 4:18). Let us then be the actual saviors by bettering our lives, changing our society and living as children of God.