Readings: Isaiah 49: 3; 5-6 1 Corinthians 1: 1-3 John 1: 29-34
For the next several weeks until the beginning of Lent, (Ash Wednesday this year in on March 5th.) we will celebrate what is known as Ordinary Time in our Church year. This time in our church year is the time between the major feasts and seasons..
This weekend we celebrate the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Our Gospel is taken from the Gospel of John. In the section we read this weekend John the Baptist identifies Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” We are also told that “John testified further saying, ‘I saw the Spirit come 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 whoever 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.’”
It may seem odd that John would say that he did not know Jesus. The fact is, though, the people of that time were looking for a messiah who was a powerful leader who would expel the occupying Romans and return Israel to a place of power and prominence on the world stage. Clearly this wasn’t the type of Messiah Jesus was. Thus John the Baptist had to adjust his expectations and only then could he see and understand that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah.
Our first reading this weekend is taken from that section of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah known as the Songs of the Suffering Servant. Christians see the suffering servant as prefiguring Jesus. In this weekend’s reading the servant is told: “I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
Our second reading this weekend is the beginning of the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. In these verses Paul greets the Church in Corinth with the words: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- In order to recognize and acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, John the Baptist had to adjust his thinking and expectations. When have you had to adjust your thinking/expectations in regard to God?
- John the Baptist called Jesus “the Lamb of God.” What title/words would you use for Jesus?
- What does God’s grace and peace mean to you?