2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - 15th January, 2017
Liturgical ReflectionIs. 49:3,5-6 1 Cor. 1:1-3 John 1:29-34
“Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.”
A New Year has begun and we may be wondering just what awaits us in 2017 as disciples of Christ! Perhaps we are considering a few New Year resolutions? After the Church moved into a new Liturgical season with Advent, we now find ourselves in what we call Ordinary Time, looking again at the beginning of Jesus’ mission after his Baptism by John in the River Jordan.
The three readings today highlight a Divine call being given and the human response. The “call of the Lord” is very clear in the mind of the prophet Isaiah who was told by the Lord “you are my servant... The Lord has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb.” Isaiah’s mission, (or that of an unnamed servant) is not limited to bringing new life just to the tribes of Jacob - that would be too little! The Lord’s plans are much bigger for Isaiah is told: “I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
St Paul also knows that he is chosen by God and given a special mission. He clearly states that he is Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God to minister to the Corinthians and to those everywhere who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Whether Paul was travelling to Corinth, Rome, Ephesus, Thessalonica, Philippi, Colossus or Galatia, his heart was on fire with his God-given mission to preach the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps in his heart he also echoed the words of Psalm 40, today’s Responsorial Psalm, “Here I am Lord; I come to do your will.”
The Gospel today shows John the Baptist recognising his role as the messenger sent ahead to prepare for the coming of the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. John baptised with water but Jesus would “baptise with the Holy Spirit.” Those of us who were baptised in the Spirit of God are also called to be witnesses to God’s loving mercy. How do we respond? Our mission is to preach, in many and varied ways, the Good News of God’s compassion and love for ALL people, be they rich or poor, homeless or oppressed, lonely and alienated in our society.
We just need to keep open hearts and willing hands to serve others with love, as Isaiah, Paul and John the Baptist did before us.
Recently I heard Jeff Kennett, (known for his work to fight depression in the Beyond Blue Organization) asking the interviewer if he woke each day saying “thank you for this new day”. Rather than heaviness and depression he was urging everyone to develop a much more positive approach to the gift of life. Perhaps the challenge of today’s readings will give us a new way to start the day: “Here I am Lord; I come to do your will.”
Denise Sullivan op