Word To Life, January 27

Sharon K. Perkins

North Texas Catholic

1/24/2013

January 27, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Cycle C. Readings:

1) Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19:8-10, 15
2) 1 Corinthians 12:12-30
Gospel) Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

As a regular contributor to “Word to Life” I’m occasionally curious about who reads these columns and where they live. When I first began contributing, it was for the North Texas Catholic in 1995, and it was pretty easy to figure out: Readers of the print publication lived in the diocese, and I encountered many of them at diocesan and parish functions. Then the Internet happened.

With a few mouse clicks the other day, I was astonished to discover that we have readers from New Mexico and Maryland to the Ukraine and South Korea!

We have entered an age of digital communication and social media in which the Good News of Jesus Christ can be transmitted almost instantly to even the remotest parts of the globe.

I recently learned of a missionary priest in Togo, West Africa, a modern-day circuit rider who visits rural villages in a pickup truck bearing an inflatable screen, DVD player, and projector powered by a small generator. Entire villages turn out to watch Christian films in French. The visual presentation of the Gospel has been so inspiring that the priest baptized 150 catechumens last Easter alone.

Pope Benedict XVI has called the entire church to observe a Year of Faith, charging Catholics to seek reconversion to a deeper relationship with Jesus and to boldly share his Gospel.

For some, it means reopening and walking anew through the door of our Baptism, in much the same fashion that Nehemiah reintroduced the Torah to his own people returning from Babylonian exile. He was effective with only a scroll, a raised wooden platform, and the force of God’s Spirit.

In a first-century Galilean synagogue, Jesus unrolled the scroll of the prophet Isaiah to proclaim his fulfillment of God’s promises. The tools were primitive, but the Spirit’s power caused extensive and immeasurable effects.

For Christians, evangelization — the relational, compassionate, and truthful sharing of the love of Jesus Christ with those in our sphere of influence — is not an option. We have communication tools that Nehemiah could never have imagined. But more importantly, we are given the same Spirit of the living God. What are we waiting for?

QUESTIONS:
What obstacles prevent you from evangelizing? Who in your sphere of influence is God asking you to share the good news of the Gospel with?

January 27, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Cycle C. Readings:

1) Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19:8-10, 15
2) 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 
Gospel) Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

Published