2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A - 15th January, 2017

Behold the Lamb of God!   

The Christmas lights have faded. We’ve come from last Sunday’s feast of the Epiphany of the Lord into the Sundays in “Ordinary” time. Ordinary time in the liturgy never means going back to “business as usual”. True, Jesus has long since grown up, grown through his adolescence to life as an adult.

The first reading from Isaiah shows God’s plan for his Son. From Mary’s womb, he was destined to be his Father’s servant, that he might bring the chosen people back to faithful observance of the Law. But then God says “It is too little for you to be my servant...I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Jesus comes to bring salvation to all mankind.

The Prophets of old longed for this salvation and the one greater than all the prophets is now waiting with expectant hope - looking out for the fulfilment of God’s promise - looking for the signs that will show that the moment has come.

John is aware of the limitations of what he can do - and makes it clear to those who are following him that he is simply preparing the way for another. “I baptise with water - but the one coming after him will baptise with the Holy Spirit”. Then John sees Jesus coming toward him. He turns to his own followers and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”

At Mass we profess our faith in Jesus as the lamb of God who takes away our sins. Guilt is the heaviest burden to carry: a burden that cannot be carried by another because it is within. The grace of handing over all guilt to Jesus is a gift beyond price. Before receiving the Eucharist, we acknowledge that we are unworthy - but we trust Jesus has only to say the word and our souls will be healed.

We are people who live trusting in the promise of God and hopefully by the quality of our lives bring comfort and strength to those about us

We too are called to be witnesses to the Lamb of God.

Fr. Kevin O'Shea, C.M.