Sunday Says Podcast – January 19, 2014 Mass Readings and Reflections
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (NAB Translation)
Welcome to the Sunday Says podcast for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 19, 2013. We’re happy you’ve joined us here once again as we move through this period of Ordinary Time between Christmas and Lent.
This Sunday’s readings contain prophecy from the Old Testament and fulfillment of that prophecy in the New Testament. Isaiah’s prophetic voice witnesses to Jesus’ mission as a servant of God whose purpose is to bring the nation of Israel and ultimately all of mankind back into obedience and fellowship with God.
Our readings this week, as always, are from the New Jerusalem translation for copyright purposes. Let’s go ahead and get started.
In the First Reading, from the book of Isaiah, we are given a prediction of the Messiah, the promised one who will be a servant of God, formed by God in the womb to be his servant for the purpose of restoring his fallen away people God then bluntly says that “rescuing the nation of Israel alone isn’t enough” – rather that he is to be a “light to the nations” – In other words his mission is extended to the rest of mankind. This prophecy is therefore fulfilled in the Jesus’ mission to the Gentiles via the Church, which is also a fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed by Abraham’s descendants.
In the Responsorial Psalm, the response of “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will” reflects the proper response of man to God’s call. This verses of Psalm 40, read carefully, give us a model of the attitude we can adopt toward God’s call– an attitude of joy and delight in our obedience to God, because our obedience comes from a place of thanksgiving to God. The psalmist also reminds us that God prefers obedience over sacrifices.
The Second Reading is from St. Paul’s first Letter to the Corinthians(1:1-3). These three verses are an introduction to this letter where Paul asserts that he was “appointed by God to be an apostle.” Paul reaffirms that his call to ministry was a Divine call, a fact that was being challenged by some false teachers in Corinth. In telling the Corinthians that they “are called to take their place among all the saints everywhere,” he is reminding the Corinthians that they are equal to, not superior to other Christians, and are part of a larger universal church.
Our Gospel reading taken from St. John’s Gospel is yet another passage related to Jesus’ baptism. Here John the Baptist identifies Jesus as the “Lamb of God” — a reference to the Passover lamb from the Old Testament which was sprinkled on the doorposts to save the Israelites from death and destruction at the hands of the Egyptians. These words also direct us back to Isaiah 53:7-12, where the Messiah is compared to a lamb before his shearers, bearing the sins of many. In referring to Jesus as a lamb, John the Baptist foretells Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross.
When John the Baptist declares that he saw the Spirit coming down on Jesus from heaven like a dove and resting on him” — John is clearly acknowledging the point in time at which he realized the divine nature of Jesus.” When we look at all of the readings taken together we see Jesus’ destiny as savior of all mankind foretold, and how it began to play out in His incarnation and later through His Church. In better recognizing who Jesus was and what He was about, we can better unite ourselves to his mission and joyfully live out our own calling as his servants. We can renew ourselves in this mission every time we go to Mass.
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