Vol: 46, No.12 3RD SUNDAY OF THE YEAR ( C) January 27 2019  
O Sing a new song to the Lord! Sing to the Lord, all the earth. In his presence are majesty and splendour, strength and honour in his holy place. (Ps 95:1, 6)
A synagogue is a Jewish institution for the reading and exposition of the Holy Scriptures. The chief purpose of the synagogue was not public worship, but instruction in the Holy Scriptures. When people are assembled, the Ruler of the Synagogue could call on any adult male of the congregation to read and expound the Scriptures. Public reading of the Scriptures was undertaken also earlier during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah which was very much appreciated by the people. At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus does a public reading from the Book of Isaiah. He is not any ordinary reader of the Scriptures. As the Son of God Jesus is the fulfilment of the Scriptures. Jesus’ ministry at the service of the underprivileged of society is the fulfilment of the Isaiah prophecy. Of course, such ministry is not acceptable to all. But Jesus goes ahead with determination and accomplishes his ministry, even at the cost of offering his own life. What is the ministry entrusted to me? (Pause)

I confess to almighty God/....
Glory to God in the highest...

Almighty ever-living God, direct our actions according to your good pleasure, that in the name of your beloved Son we may abound in good works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and
reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
(This passage gives a graphic picture of the solemn reading of the Word of God in the hearing of all the people. The ceremony is so touching that the people weep but Ezra and companions console the people and send them on their way).
A reading from the Book of Nehemiah
(8:2-6, 8-10)

Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could under-stand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden pulpit which they had made for the purpose. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; for he was above all the people; and when he opened it all the people stood. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God; and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground. And they read from the book, from the law of God, clearly; and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God;
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