2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Although we are in the year of Matthew, this week’s reading follows on from the Baptism of Jesus which we celebrated during the week. In the first sentence John calls Jesus the ‘Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world’ – words we echo every time we are at Mass. These are words we all know what they mean and which we believe – familiar words.
There are images of lambs throughout the Old and New Testaments but ones we are more familiar with are ones where the lamb is sacrificed (OT) and where the lamb is lost (NT). Here John is using the Old Testament idea but perhaps we can look on Jesus as a leader being sacrificed rather than someone who is passive. We are all leaders in our own way – in our ministry, our jobs, at home, in our parishes, among our friends and family or in the area where we live. This may be because we are natural leaders and to whom people look for advice, help and support. Others perhaps, like John with Jesus, recognise us as leaders they can look to for help and inspiration and that can be quite a responsibility.
We are challenged to be leaders, to be witnesses, to speak out about Jesus in our lives. Our world needs witnesses, whether in our homes, at work, in schools and parishes or wherever we meet other people. What or who are we witnessing to? We are witnessing to the love of God in the world, in our lives, as revealed by Jesus. We have just celebrated 3 great feasts of Jesus – Christmas, Epiphany and the Baptism – and at each occasion there were witnesses: shepherds, wise men, John the Baptist (and others). These witnesses were given the task of spreading the Word, having encountered Jesus. We have to ask ourselves ‘what are WE doing to spread the Word?’ This Year of the Word has been designated by the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales to celebrate the 10th anniversary of ‘Verbum Domini’, Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Exhortation on ‘The Word of the Lord’. It is intended that this year be a year of celebrating, living and sharing God’s Word. It is up to us to make the most of events, activities and resources that will be available.
Leaders point to or bring people to where they should rightly be. They lead by example (or should do!) People are thirsting, yearning for stability in their lives and are looking for something or someone to fill the ever-increasing hole they feel is in their lives. Many are looking for things outside themselves. WE need to help them look inside and see their own worth. We need to help them see that and believe that. That is quite a task but one we are challenged to – can we say like John, ‘I have seen and I am the witness that he is the Chosen One of God.’?
Sr. Margaret Mattison