Priest, Prophet, and King
There are so many things going on in the readings for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
If we start with the second reading, we hear one of the most valuable teachings we have as Christians, that we are all members of the body of Christ. If we can start here in all we do, we will be able to work through anything. Yet, community it’s hard; there are responsibilities and demands on us that are very real and can be complicated. We can try to avoid being in communities, but it is almost impossible; as humans we need to be in relationships. Our Christian community is no different in what is required of us; in fact, it may be even more stressful than other groups we belong to, yet it can also be much more fruitful. Christianity, and therefore our community is the motivation behind all we do, or at least it should be. This is something that we must keep bringing ourselves back to repeatedly.
In the first reading, we hear one of the biggest things that community demands of us. “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared,” (Nehemiah 8: 10); we must take care of each other. We do this by using our gifts and our talents, and then further, encouraging those we help to do the same. We are able to do this because of what is shared in one of St. Eugene’s favorite passages from Luke’s Gospel account: “because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free….” (Luke 4:18). We too are anointed; at our baptism, we are anointed into the life of Christ as priest, prophet, and king. We are called as Jesus was, to help heal.
We can only achieve this in community; and often, when we think we are healing another, we are being healed ourselves. Even though this story happens in the temple, Luke will always show us that we need to live out our faith on the road, on our journey with others. It isn’t enough to be in church and pray together. It is by being in relationship with others that we can work through our pain and share our joy. It is in relationship with others that we see the face of Christ, and in that face, we will see pain, need, mercy, compassion and love. How we respond to that face will help us become who God has intended us to be.
By Serena Shaw
Vocation Team – Oblate Associate