The Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 64 (NAB Translation)
This week’s first reading is from the forty-ninth chapter of the book of Isaiah. This chapter introduces us to the “Suffering Servant” whose vocation was to liberate the people of Israel and bring salvation to the whole world as a “light” to all the nations.” The earliest Christians immediately saw how these verses corresponded with Jesus Christ’s life, death, and mission. Of critical importance is how this mission goes beyond the salvation of Israel alone, extending even to the ends of the earth.
The response for this week’s Psalm reflects the response to the call of the prophet: ” Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.”
This week’s second reading, taken from Saint Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, contains a typical greeting in the opening verses. Paul first identifies himself and gives his credentials as someone authorized by God to speak. Next he acknowledges who his readers are: a people in a specific local church (Corinth) who, through baptism, are called to be holy and to take their place with other believers in the Universal Church. Because this letter was incorporated into the canon of Scripture it applies to us as well. Baptism should unite all believers and bring them into one church, giving them the duty seek holiness.
This week’s gospel from St. John (the Evangelist) introduces us to John the Baptist’s witness to Christ. When John the Baptist says, “Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world,” we are presented with the theology that links Jesus to the Passover Lamb of Exodus as well as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 (where the Messiah is compared to a lamb before his shearers). This prophetic interpretation is fulfilled in Jesus’ eventual crucifixion where Jesus, through his suffering and death, liberates the world from Sin, just as the blood of the Passover lamb liberated Israel from the Egyptians. The entire Trinity is involved in this encounter. God the Father sends the John the Baptist to baptize with water. The Holy Spirit descend on Jesus like a dove and confirms Jesus as God the Son.
Reflection question from Bishop Vásquez
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” We hear a very similar version of this in every Mass. Our Gospel today tells us the role of John the Baptist was to make known Jesus, the Lamb of God.” Who has helped you to recognize Christ in your life? How does your life direct others to Christ?e!