Gospel Reflection: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

JANUARY 15, 2017

THE SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

ALLELUIA

The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us.

To those who accepted Him, He gave power to become children of God.

ALLELUIA

 

A READING FROM THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT JOHN 1:29-34

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.

He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’  I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.”


John testified further, saying:
I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him.  I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 


Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD

 

REFLECTION

The Church greets us this morning as Saint Paul greeted the Corinthians:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Saint Paul explains that we have been sanctified in Christ Jesus — graced, and therefore are called to be holy.

From today until the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, our holy Church refers to the Sundays as the Ordinary Time of the Liturgical Season.  This is Ordinary Time because we celebrate the fullness of all the words and actions of Jesus that has brought us redemption and not a specific moment in Salvation history.  Therefore this is the appropriate time for us to take hold of and cooperate with the One True God who can make us holy!

Each year on the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, the Church proclaims the Gospel from Saint John.  The Gospel according to John provides a bridge, a connection with the Christmas feasts of the Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord that we celebrated last week.  Jesus, as the Lamb of God was the image that Saint Luke first introduced to us in his Christmas Eve narrative of the birth of Jesus, and John’s Gospel continues this theme.    In addition, the Gospel according to John initiates us into a process of becoming more aware of Jesus Christ as the One sent by the Father, and the Only One who can fill us with the holiness of the Holy Spirit.

As is the case with each Sunday, the First Reading and the Gospel are linked deliberately by a common theme or truth concerning the Lord and His people.  The reading we heard from the Book of Isaiah is one of four passages called the Suffering Servant Songs.  The Prophet Isaiah describes the purpose or mission of the Servant of God which mission Jesus, the ultimate Servant of God, came to complete as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.  The Gospel proclaims Jesus as the Son of God and the chosen Lamb of God who is the perfect sacrifice for the remission of sins and the means for us to become holy, children of God.

To our surprise, John the Baptist acknowledges: I did not know him.  In this way, the Gospel uses John as an example of one, who with God’s grace, can progress from not knowing Him to becoming a believer and witness of Jesus as Savior and God’s Son!  This progression in true belief and discipleship is the work of God.  It is through God’s grace that we are transformed into His holy people, witnesses of His Son!  Indeed, conversion into deeper and deeper awareness and commitment to Jesus is what the scriptures call conversion — a change of heart.

For one desiring to be a disciple of Jesus, the Gospel skillfully lays out the way that one should proceed:

Behold the Lamb of God: Diligently SEEK Him out in the Gospels and   encounter Him.

I did not know Him: FIND Him by prayerfully reflecting on His Word:

Now, I have seen … that He is the Son of God: ACKNOWLEDGE Jesus as    Lord by a profession of faith.

Now, I have … testified that He is the Son of God: PROCLAIM that Jesus is   the Lamb of God; Jesus is the Son of God, so all may hear.

 

            SEEK             FIND               ACKNOWLEDGE                PROCLAIM

The Gospel is powerful; the Gospel is relevant for you and me!   We have been sanctified in Christ Jesus — graced, and therefore are called to be holy.  Like John the Baptist, God can transform us from Not Knowing him to Knowing His Son and Proclaiming Him as Lord!

What holds us back from practicing these four fundamental steps of discipleship (Seek; Find; Acknowledge; and Proclaim)?   It is in the Ordinary Time of each day that we are given the opportunity.  It can happen to us, and we can help another.

Now, I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God!

 

Encountering the Divine Physician, Jesus Christ (St. Luke 5: 17-26)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our Web Site for details: MalvernRetreat.com

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