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Homily – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

2nd Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Isaiah 49:3, 5-6
1 Corinthians 1:1-3
John 1:29-34
January 19, 2014

Here comes Jesus!  One might have expected that as soon as John saw Jesus he might run to Jesus with great joy.  That is not John’s first reaction.

John could point Jesus out to the people as the one he told them was coming.  He does but it isn’t the first thing John says about Jesus.

John does point out Jesus to the others but not as the one he has been talking about.  John’s first description of Jesus foreshadows Jesus’ Crucifixion, which won’t happen till three years later.  John might not understand exactly what it means but as he points out Jesus to the others his first words proclaim Jesus’ very purpose for coming, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”

Jesus is our sacrificial lamb who gives up his life freely to take away our sins.  This defines who Jesus is for us.

Last Monday I visited our school and one of the students asked me how come Jesus’ had to die for us on the Cross?  Couldn’t he have saved another way so he could keep on living?

This question was asked by a fifth grade but it is a point that scholars debate.  It is a question without a clear-cut answer.  Could God have saved us another way?  After all, he is God.  It’s a question I don’t have a definitive answer for.

What I do know is that God choose to save us through Jesus’ Crucifixion.  Today we again hear about the ‘suffering servant’ from Isaiah.  Isaiah describes the ‘suffering servant’ as the one God uses to show us his glory.  The servant will be made glorious in the sight of the Lord.

Jesus totally submits to the Father’s will, giving his life in the Crucifixion and made glorious in the Resurrection but we see the glory in Crucifixion because the image of Jesus on the Cross is an image of God’s love for us.

Jesus fulfills these words and more.  Isaiah speaks of the ‘suffering servant’ as the one who brings “light to the nations”.  Jesus indeed is the light of the world.

John will go on to say more about Jesus but it all begins with “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”

We use words like this at every Mass at Communion.  Why every Mass?

I say these words as I hold up the newly consecrated host for all to see and gaze upon.  It is Jesus we receive.  It isn’t bread or wine.  We don’t know how it is changed.  It doesn’t look any different but we know Jesus said This is my body… This is my blood and so we believe.

We cannot understand the significance of this without uniting it with the Eucharist.  In our Catholic faith, we believe that Jesus forever united the celebration of the Eucharist with his Crucifixion so that every time we celebrate the Eucharist, Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world is made present for us.

John offers testimony to Jesus in his every word and deed for he came into the world to make Jesus known.

What do you do to offer testimony about Jesus?

When we hear “testimony” we might think of a court room.  Our testimony is not given in a court room.  Our testimony to our faith comes most dominantly in the way we live our lives.

Words are important but St. Francis taught to proclaim the gospel always, use words only when necessary.

One of the ways our actions profess our faith is how important we see our regular attendance at church.  We come to hear God’s word and receive the Eucharist.  If we don’t come, what does that say about our belief in the Eucharist?

What do you do to live out our faith?

 

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