Today happens only once. Today is not the same as yesterday or tomorrow. In the Gospel of Luke Jesus says, ”Today, this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing (Luke 4:21).” The Scripture passage that was fulfilled on the day that Jesus spoke was, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; therefore he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind and release to prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord (Luke 4:18-19).”
Pope Francis has designated the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time as Word of God Sunday. On this Sunday, we celebrate the gift of God’s Word through the Scriptures which is to be part of our lives today and every day. The Word of God, whether proclaimed thousands of years ago or a few minutes ago, always has something to say to us in the moment we are living. As those baptized and anointed with the Holy Spirit, it is God’s Word that inspires us, motivates us, challenges us and empowers us to do remarkable things.
Today, somebody can be given the glad tidings of knowing that we will stand with them in their suffering. Today, someone who is imprisoned by guilt can be set free by our reminder that God’s forgiving love is always there. Today, a person who is a captive of prejudice can be released by the care we take with our own attitudes toward others. Today, those incarcerated by economic injustice can be liberated by our support of policies that support a more equal distribution of the world’s goods. Today, those held captive by oppressive governments can be freed by our actions that support human rights and respect for the dignity of the human person. Today, those blinded by confusion and doubt can be given sight by our reassurance that questions are alright, that life does have meaning and that we understand their moments of confusion because we know our own.
What is today? Today is another opportunity to dedicate ourselves to reading, studying and sharing the Word of God in the Bible. Today, as it always is for those baptized and anointed with God’s Spirit, is a day of hope, possibility and promise. Today, the measure to which we truly believe that is the measure to which this hope and promise will be fulfilled in our hearing.
Together in faith,
Very Rev. Christopher Smith, Rector