January 27th, 2013 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

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Dear Friends:

We learn from her writings that St. Teresa of Avila sat and spoke with Jesus as one would speak with a best friend. One evening Jesus asked Teresa her name and she replied using her religious name saying, “I am Teresa of Jesus.” Teresa was then bold enough to ask Jesus his name, to which Jesus replied, “I am Jesus of Teresa.” Teresa—Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun and renowned author—knew that she and Jesus were one. Today’s readings call us to embrace this same truth.

In the first reading, a holy people gather before Ezra to hear the word of God. After listening to the law of the Lord all morning, they shed many tears. They knew they were standing on holy ground. In the second reading Saint Paul implores us to recognize that we are holy ground. We are the body of Christ and as its various members are called to do great things.

In the gospel. Jesus recognizes himself as holy ground—called to bring the good new to the poor, the captives and the oppressed. Can we recognize ourselves as holy ground? In her writings, Teresa of Avila reminds us that Christ has no body now on earth but ours. We, the people whom Jesus calls by name, are called to free the oppressed and give sight to the blind. Are we up for the challenge?