Friday, January 16, 2015

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

1 Samuel 3:3-10, 19; 1 Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20; John 1:35-42

The readings this Sunday are about the fourth sign of a dynamic Catholic – evangelization; sharing our faith with others. In today’s First Reading God calls the young Samuel, who experiences the call of God while asleep. God calls him three times that night, and each time he runs to his Master Eli without realizing that it was God who was calling him. Samuel is actually in profound conversation with God. When he is called again Samuel responds to God and offers himself saying, “Speak, for your servant is listening,” a sign of preparedness to serve.

In the Gospel, Jesus calls his first two disciples because John points out Jesus to the disciples, saying, “Behold the lamb of God.” Why does John the Baptist use this phrase? The title Lamb of God for Jesus appears only in the Gospel of John, with the initial proclamation: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" in John 1:29. This title reaffirms John 1:36, the text we have in this Sunday Gospel passage. The proclamation takes place in the presence of the first two disciples of Jesus, who immediately follow him. These two proclamations of Jesus as the Lamb of God are closely linked to the Baptist's other proclamation in John 1:34: "I have borne witness that this is the Son of God". At the baptism of Jesus, John witnessed the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus and the Father declaring Him to be His Son. Therefore John knew that Jesus was the Messiah who had been prophesied in the book of Isaiah 53:7, "He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth." In the Old Testament, the Israelites sacrificed lambs at the Passover feast (Ex. 12:21) and as offerings (Lev. 14:10-25). Jesus Christ is the Lamb that God would give as a sacrifice for the sins not only of Israel, but of the whole world (Is. 52:13-53:12). In that one masterful sentence, John summarizes the whole of God’s plan of salvation revealed throughout the Old Testament. John therefore uses the phrase “Behold the Lamb of God” to authenticate that revelation, and give witness to it. The witness of John is so convincing that two of his disciples decide to follow Jesus. Then the conversation continues when Jesus looks back and sees the two disciples following him. “What are you looking for?” Their response was, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” They are so attracted to the person of Jesus that they want to be with him, and Jesus simply tells them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where Jesus was staying and stayed with him that day. What message do we take home this Sunday? 1) Evangelization is the fourth sign of a dynamic Catholic. We are called to share the story of our faith with others. 2) Like the first disciples of Jesus, we yearn for Jesus and suddenly someone points Jesus to us. Like the two disciples we become not just followers but engaged and excited to bring others to Jesus. 3) Now that we have become His disciples and stewards, Jesus sends us to share the story of our our faith with others so that they too may be transformed by Jesus Christ.

©2015 John S. Mbinda

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