Word for the Weekend: January 27

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He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me...

It's time to take a look at the scriptures we'll hear proclaimed this Sunday at Mass.  You'll find the readings with background material on them here and if you're bringing children to Mass, check here for hints to help your young ones prepare to hear the Word.

January 27 will be the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. Keep in mind that back in December we began a new liturgical year on the First Sunday of Advent. In the lectionary for Mass, this is year C and we will be hearing from the Gospel of Luke for the greater part of the year.

After the readings selected for Advent and the Christmas season and last Sunday's reading from John (to include the story of the wedding at Cana close to the Christmas cycle), we'll hear this Sunday the very first words of Luke's gospel in Luke 1:1-4,  a prologue addressing the text to Theophilus. After these four verses of introduction, the lectionary skips to Luke 4:14-21. (Much of the intervening material was proclaimed in the liturgy during the Advent-Christmas cycle.) Now in Luke 4, we find the adult Jesus coming home to Nazareth and entering the synagogue where he reads from Isaiah and boldly applies the text to himself.

The first lesson for this Sunday is from Nehemiah and offers a good description of synagogue worship which is reflected in the day's gospel account as well. In fact, we can recognize in broad outline in both passages elements of worship that are still ours today.

The second lesson of the day continues our reading from 1 Corinthians and, as was the case last week, the unity of gifts in the Spirit is the heart of the text. (The lectionary provides a longer and shorter rendering of this text.)


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