Jan. 15, 2017 - 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
Jesus has come to John the Baptist and asks to be baptized. At first John does not recognize that Jesus is the Son of God.
However, through his encounter in the Jordan River, John has come to discover who Jesus is.
The discovery is confirmed by the Holy Spirit who descends upon Jesus like a dove from heaven.
Now John wants to share this good news with us. So John points the way to Jesus. John wants us to know Jesus. John wants us to recognize Jesus.
In revealing Jesus to us, John tells us of Jesus’ identity and mission. Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
John identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God. It was Jewish custom for a lamb to be offered in the Temple to take away the sins of the people. Jesus’ own sacrifice replaces the lamb sacrifice in the Temple.
John also reveals Jesus’ mission. Jesus is the one who takes away the sins of the world.
Jesus is offered as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the people, so that the innocent lambs no longer have to be sacrificed in the Temple.
As we continue to journey into this new year, we are going to begin again to tell the story of the shepherd who becomes the sheep, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
And as we tell the story again, we come to know the Shepherd more deeply. By learning more about Jesus’ identity and mission, we also come to discover something about ourselves.
Listen again of God’s love for us in the first reading: It is too little for you to be my servant. I will make you a light to the nations.
We are light. We are goodness. We are love. The Holy Spirit descends upon us and makes us the chosen ones of God.
And Saint Paul in the second reading tells us that we are holy. We have been sanctified by the blood of Jesus shed for us.
Jesus is forgiveness for our sins. This tells of God’s great love for us.
Jesus sacrifices himself for us. When we gather here for worship it is Jesus who is placed upon the altar.
Not only does Jesus give himself for the forgiveness of sins. He also gives himself as food for the journey.
We eat his body and drink his blood to give us strength, to make us holy.
And John, by revealing Jesus to us, gives us the opportunity to draw closer to Jesus. We come to a greater understanding of his identity and his mission.
And by drawing closer to him our sins are forgiven and our lives are changed.