2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) – 17th Jan 2021

Theme: THE LORD DOES NOT ONLY CALL SINNERS TO REPENTANCE, BUT THE LORD ALSO CALLS SINNERS TO BE HIS APOSTLES

  • 1 Samuel 3:3-10. 19;
  • Psalm 39 (40): 2. 4. 7-10. R/ vv. 8. 9;
  • 1 Corinthians 6:13-15. 17-20
  • John 1:35-42

1. Today is the second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B. The readings today tell us that the Lord does not only call sinners to repentance, but the Lord also calls sinners to be his apostles! What “grace”! What “love”! What “faithfulness” on the part of God! We have therefore to respond immediately and totally!

    The gospel today tells us that when John the Baptist pointed out to his two disciples that Jesus was the “Lamb of God” who takes away the sins of the world, his two disciples responded immediately and totally and followed Jesus and stayed with Jesus! The gospel also tells us that when Andrew told his brother Simon Peter that Jesus was the Messiah, Simon Peter immediately followed him to Jesus. And when Jesus saw Simon Peter he changed his name from Simon to Peter making him the future head of the Church and the first Pope! Again, what grace, what love, what faithfulness on the part of God! Like Andrew and Peter, we have therefore to respond immediately and totally to the call of God to be his apostles to proclaim the good news to the whole world!

2. The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us about the call of Samuel to be the prophet of Israel. Samuel was only a boy. But Samuel responded immediately and totally with these words: “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening”. And Samuel became the last judge and the first prophet of Israel! Again, what grace, what love, and what faithfulness on the part of God! Again, like Samuel, we have to respond immediately and totally to the call of God to be his prophets!

    When we were baptized, we were called to be prophet, priest and king; prophet to proclaim the word of God, priest to celebrate the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and king to build the kingdom of God and to build the community. But of the three, the first is to proclaim the word of God! The word of God gives faith, with faith we celebrate the sacraments (mystery), and when we celebrate the sacraments with faith, the Holy Spirit will act in and through us and build the community and the kingdom of God! 

    Again, what grace, what love, and what faithfulness on the part of God! Again, like Samuel, we have to respond immediately and totally to the call of God to be the prophet of God to proclaim the word of God to the whole world!

3. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The response of the responsorial psalm tells us to respond immediately and totally to the call of God to proclaim his word of salvation to the whole world. Thus the response of the responsorial psalm: “Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.” The response of the responsorial psalm echoes Samuel’s response to the call of God to be his prophet: “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”!      

    The responsorial psalm is a thanksgiving for salvation. The responsorial psalm has four stanzas. The first stanza is a thanksgiving for salvation. The second, third, and fourth stanzas tell us to thank God for salvation, not by offering holocausts (burnt offerings) and animal sacrifices, but by proclaiming his word of salvation to the whole world! (CSB) Thus the fourth stanza of the responsorial psalm: “Your justice I have proclaimed in the great assembly. My lips I have not sealed; you know it, O Lord.” (Ps 39 (40): 9)

    Again, we have to respond immediately and totally to the call of God to proclaim his word of salvation to the whole world!

4. The second reading tells us about sexual immorality. (NJB) The second reading tells us not to sleep with prostitutes. But more importantly, the second reading tells us to use our bodies for the glory of God! (HCSB) Again, we have to respond to the call of God immediately and totally, that is, with our body, mind and spirit, that is, with our whole person! We cannot respond to the call of God only with our mind and spirit! We have to respond to the call of God with our body, mind and spirit, with our whole person, and with our whole being!

    There are priests today who believe in “optional celibacy”, that is, the freedom to choose to get married or to remain celibates. Indeed, celibacy became a law of the Church only in the 13th century with Pope Gregory VIII. But even before celibacy became a law of the Church, there was “voluntary celibacy” in the Church. Indeed, even today we have lay people who voluntarily opt for celibacy in order to be “itinerant catechists” to go around the world to evangelize, that is, to proclaim the good news! There are also lay people who are married with children who go around the world to proclaim the good news as itinerant catechists! Whatever our call or vocation – to be priest, married catechist or single catechist – we have to respond immediately and totally with our body, mind and spirit, that is, with our whole person to God’s call to proclaim His good news to the whole world!

5. Today in the Eucharist, we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we eat his body and drink his blood, and the Risen Lord will give us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us respond to the call of God immediately and totally.        Amen.

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Theme: IN BAPTISM JESUS BECAME THE SON OF GOD, THE SUFFERING SERVANT OF GOD, AND THE LAMB OF GOD

  • Isaiah 49:3. 5-6
  • Psalm 39:2. 4. 7-10. R. v. 8. 9
  • 1 Corinthians 1:1-3
  • John 1:29-34

Today is the Second Sunday of the Year. Last Sunday we celebrated the feast of the Baptism of the Lord and the last day of Christmastide. Today too the gospel tells us about the Baptism of the Lord and the beginning of the Lord’s mission and ministry.

The gospel tells us that when Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit descended upon him and he became “the Chosen One of God”, the Son of God, the Servant of God, the Suffering Servant of God, the Sacrificial Lamb of God who takes way the sin of the world! In this way he was to baptize with the Holy Spirit!

After his baptism, and after receiving the Holy Spirit, Jesus not only became “the Chosen One of God”, the Son of God, but he also became the Servant of God, the Suffering Servant of God, and the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! In this way, that is, in the way of his life of service, suffering, death, and resurrection, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, he baptized with the Holy Spirit!

The first reading is from Isaiah. It is the second of 4 songs of the Suffering Servant of Yahweh (God). Though the word suffering is not mentioned in this reading, it is important to remember that Jesus was not only a servant of God, but he was also a suffering servant and lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

The first reading tells us that the suffering servant of God suffers and sacrifices not only for the salvation of Israel, but also for the salvation of the whole world! “It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth”! (Is 49:6)

Why all the nations? Because all the nations, irrespective of nationality, race, religion, culture, color, etc., need the salvation of God, that is, his love, mercy, and forgiveness!

The responsorial psalm today is a thanksgiving psalm. The responsorial psalm tells us that we do not thank God only by worship and animal sacrifice, but we also thank God by being obedient to him and doing his will! And the will of God is that we proclaim his saving justice (NJB), that we do not close our mouths, but that we open our mouths and proclaim his salvation! (CSB/NAB)

“Your justice I have proclaimed in the great assembly. My lips I have not sealed; you know it, O Lord”! (Ps 39:10)

Again, it is important to note that the word “justice” is not to be understood only as “fair play” or “legal equity”, but also as saving justice and salvation!

 

The second reading is from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. The second reading tells us that God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ send us grace and peace! Again, it is all grace, favor, and blessing! We have heard it all in the gospel, the first reading, and the responsorial psalm! It is all grace! How can it be otherwise! It is not the Law! It is grace! We do not deserve it!

Peace! Again, as we have been told in the gospel of Luke at Christmas Midnight Mass, that it is not the peace of Caesar Augustus, who brought peace (absence of war) to the Roman Empire through political, economic, and military power, but the peace of Jesus Christ, who brought peace to the world by becoming the servant of God, the suffering servant of God, and the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

  Jesus Christ brought peace to the world through his service, suffering, death and resurrection, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins! The peace of Jesus Christ is not only an “absence of war”, but it is also the love, mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, and salvation of God!

 In Baptism, we also received the Holy Spirit, and like Jesus Christ, we also became the sons/daughters of God, the servants of God, the suffering servants of God, the lambs of God who take away the sin of the world!

In Eucharist, we celebrate his death and resurrection, and we eat his body and drink his blood, and the Risen Lord will continue to give us his Holy Spirit, so that we will grow as sons and daughters of God, as servants of God, as suffering servants of God, and as lambs of God who take away the sin of the world, so that we will grow in the Holy Spirit and “baptize with the Holy Spirit”!

Amen!