Year C Sunday Gospel Reflections by John McKinnon

“Today this text is being fulfilled right now as you are listening.”

We return today to the Gospel of Luke and shall stay with it right throughout the year, except for a few Sundays during the Easter Season.

Today's passage falls into three clear sections, the first being the author's introductory remarks taken from the start of his Gospel, the other two presenting the opening scenes of the adult-Jesus' public ministry.

Luke was not himself an eyewitness of the deeds of Jesus. His Gospel relies on other second- and third-hand sources. Scholars have identified these sources as the Gospel of Mark, a collection of the sayings and teachings of Jesus [that was also used by Matthew], and a third source drawn from the memories of the Christian community to which Luke belonged.

From these disparate sources he sought to fashion an orderly account, grouping floating memories together, and connecting them to various deeds of Jesus.

His purpose was to provide a firm, accessible and more memorable basis for what his readers already knew but were in danger of forgetting. He dedicated his work to Theophilus, possibly a patron, or maybe even a fictitious character symbolizing all lovers of God.

Today's passage then launches Jesus on his mission. The incident follows immediately Luke's account of Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist, the descent on him of the Holy Spirit and his subsequent temptation in the nearby desert.

Jesus carried out his early ministry teaching in the synagogues of Galilee.

Wanting to make very clear right from the start the basic thrust of Jesus' mission, Luke then recounted a critical incident in the synagogue of Jesus' hometown Nazareth. For Luke, this incident presented Jesus' program, his manifesto, for his whole mission.

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Year C Sunday Gospel Reflections by John McKinnon

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John McKinnon is a priest of the diocese of Ballarat, Western Victoria, who studied for six years in Rome where he was ordained in 1957. On reaching the age of 75 in 2008, he retired from official parish work and has made himself available for other…


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John McKinnon is a priest of the diocese of Ballarat, Western Victoria, who studied for six years in Rome where he was ordained in 1957. On reaching the age of 75 in 2008, he retired from official parish work and has made himself available for other ministries in the diocese. During his life as priest he has been parish priest, Diocesan chaplain of the Young Christian Workers Movement, lectured at the Institute of Catholic Education in Ballarat, and worked at a national level in the ongoing education of priests. He has given retreats to priests in most of the dioceses of Australia, as well as to religious and laity. Of recent years, he has been drawn on to give regular spiritual support to priests, religious and laity, particularly in the more isolated areas of his diocese.

John said: "My aim in these talks is to provide background for people who wish to reflect on the Sunday Gospels in the light of their own personal experience and to apply them to their lives. I shall examine each text, seeking to explain details that may not be familiar, and trying to determine the particular nuances of Jesus' message that the author of the gospel wished to emphasise. I shall conclude each talk with three questions that may help people's personal reflection and application of the Gospel's message."

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