Homily delivered on the Feast of St Joseph for Gayndah community.

Year  C  2022

The Christian Church as a reality in the world appeared on the world stage as the direct result of experiences undergone by the original followers of Jesus the Nazarene. The primary experience, of course, was their attraction to and acceptance of a call from Jesus to follow, learn and replicate. The core group, the ones who would be identified as apostles, appeared to have been with him from the time of his baptism by John to his resurrection and ascension. The follow up experiences was the victory over death announced as he left the tomb and continued his relationship with those he had formed into a community. Now, they had news that was very good for a world beset by fears well-founded or not.


St Luke’s opening line of his gospel let’s us see that Luke and the other evangelists were not the only ones putting pen to parchment - “Seeing as many others have undertaken to draw up accounts…” Luke’s reference to his compiling an “ordered” account suggests that what had been written already for the communities was not “ordered” but just a collection of remembered events, parables, and his last days. Luke wrote to convince his readers that the faith they had in the Nazarene was well founded in fact and not some work of fiction.


Part of our faith is extraordinary. We proclaim that the very fabric of the universe (big picture) changed with the birth, life, death and resurrection of the Nazarene. A new world emerged. Jesus self-proclamation in the synagogue, at the start of his public life (today’s gospel), pulls no punches as to who he knows himself to be personally and what he knows the Father is doing in and through him. Read again what he quoted from Isaiah and his very brief commentary: today this text is being fulfilled.


The public ministry of Jesus was surprisingly short considering the impact it had and still has on the world. Maybe three years but perhaps as short as 18 months. Knowing his work was to have a much longer life and touch the human family wherever it was, he chose to indwell the community.


St Paul struggled but eventually accepted as true what the risen Lord said to him on the road to Damascus. Paul, I identify and indwell these men and women you are persecuting. Again and again, he uses the concept of the community being the body of Christ to encourage them and deepen their faith to be missionary disciples. No, Christian is ever alone.


As I said, the very fabric of the universe changed with the experience of Jesus, God’s word in human flesh. Death yields to life. Death does not have the last say. Those with the Spirit Jesus breathed into them will heal, set free, open blinded eyes, raise up the downtrodden. We are not to argue with what our Lord has done. In acting as he did, we are the good news the world hungers for.


Fr Adrian