THEME: THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD
Readings: Isaiah 49:3, 5-6/ 1 Cor. 1:1-3/ John 1:29-34
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
The people of the Kingdom of Judah had been unfaithful to God. As a result, they were conquered and some of them were sent into exile in Babylon. After decades in captivity, some of the Jews repented of their sins and cried unto God for deliverance. Today’s first reading tells us of God’s response to the cry of His repented people. He promised to give them more than they had asked for: He would not only send a saviour to deliver them from Babylon, He would also send His Servant who would save the whole world (Isaiah 49:6). Beloved, as God’s response to the cry of the Jews was more than they asked for, so may He respond to every prayer we make with contrite and faith-filled hearts, amen!
The Jews were soon delivered from Babylon in fulfilment of God’s first promise. However, the second promise took over 500 years to be fulfilled with the coming of Jesus to save us from our sins. Thus, God provided for the immediate or temporal needs of the Jews as well as the eternal or spiritual salvation of the whole world. Likewise beloved, I pray that God will provide for our temporal and eternal well-being, amen!
When Jesus was to embark on His mission, it was John the Baptist who revealed Him as the Saviour of the world. According to the gospel reading, this was the testimony of the Baptist: ‘There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world…. I would not have known Him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘the man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is He who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God” (John 1:29-34). John the Baptist was aided by the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove to recognize the Saviour of the world. But we are more blessed, for the Spirit has descended in our hearts to enable us recognize Jesus, not by sight but by faith: “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29)! Beloved, my prayer is that the Spirit of God will constantly nurture this faith in us and deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ, amen!
Finally, beloved, each of us is a new ‘Baptist’. That is, each of us has been sent by God to make the world know that Jesus is the Saviour of the world. With our Christian friends (who already know Jesus Christ), let us keep the Lord alive in our conversations, suggestions, prayers, Bible sharing, worship, social media chats, etc. To friends, colleagues and neighbours who have lost their faith in the Lord, let us be the channel by which the Holy Spirit will re-connect them with the Saviour. And to those who do not accept Jesus as the Saviour of the world, let us (by prayers, acts of compassion and charity, gentle narrations of the story of Jesus, etc.) avail ourselves as instruments of conversion by the power of the Holy Spirit. May God’s eternal blessings abound in our lives for every soul that is sustained or won for Christ, amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis