For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. https://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/011517.cfm
This Sunday we return to what is known as Ordinary Time in our Church. Ordinary Time is that time between the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Lent, and between the end of the Easter season and the beginning of Advent.
At first glance our Gospel for this Sunday would seem to suggest that we are back in Advent. I say this because as this Gospel begins we hear John the Baptist, identifying Jesus as “….. the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” In this Gospel, though, John also refers to Jesus’ baptism: “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." After his baptism, Jesus began his public ministry. And sincewe have no information about Jesus life prior to the beginning of his public ministry, apart from the story of the finding of Jesus in the Temple, it is fitting that we move from the stories of his birth to the beginning of his public ministry.
Our first reading this Sunday is from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. It refers to the “Servant” of the Lord, whom God will make “a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
Our second reading this Sunday is the beginning of the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. The letter is addressed “to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy, with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- When John said he did not know Jesus, I suspect he meant that he didn’t recognize him as the promised messiah. When have you failed to recognize God’s presence in your life?
- Have you ever felt empowered by the Spirit to do something?
- In the first reading, Isaiah talked about the “Servant” who was to be a light to the nations. Have you ever felt called to be light to others?