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RELIGION LITURGY AND LIFE

2Nd Sunday Ordinary Time

Well here we are at the second Sunday of Ordinary time. As our lives grow more pressured, more tired, and more restless, perhaps more than anything else we long for “ordinary time,” quiet, routine, solitude, and space away from the hectic pace of life. The lights of Christmas and Epiphany have all faded. We’ve come from last Sunday’s feast of the Baptism of the Lord into seven weeks in “Ordinary” time. Watch out!  Ordinary time in the liturgy never means going back to “business as usual.” Last Sunday we celebrated the gift of baptism, and now this Sunday we hear the words of  John the Baptist. In The Gospel reading for this weekend we hear  the words of the man who went before the Lord as he says “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”  We know these words, so well for we hear them in Church when we are just about to receive the Body and Blood of Christ during the Eucharistic celebration. 

There’s a lot of talk these days in our church about the “new evangelism.” Evangelism is not a notion we Catholics have always claimed as part of our Christian identity and activity. We, like John and Andrew, are supposed to bring others to Christ. Each of us in the church has this responsibility – not just the Priests deacons or religious. In one way or another, like John, we must also announce, “Behold, the Lamb of God.”

We squirm uncomfortably when we attempt – if we ever do attempt – to tell our faith story to others. But our baptism links us to Jesus and to the long line of his followers, who believe Jesus is the Lamb of God and that his death and resurrection is the source of new life for all peoples. We then, are to be like God’s servant in today’s Isaiah reading, “a light to the nations.” Or, to use the seldom spoken, we are to be “evangelists” That is people who get out there and tell the message to those around them about Jesus the lamb of God. 

John promises Jesus will baptise with the Holy Spirit. And so he did, for we received his Spirit when we were baptised and confirmed. Perhaps that Spirit will help us overcome our shyness and hesitancy to speak to others about who Jesus is for us. Most likely, we won’t have to do that from a soapbox in the town square. Probably the Spirit will guide us to share in more personal ways how we have come to freedom, peace, joy and hope through our faith in Christ. We remember that Ordinary time in the spiritual sense never means going back to “business as usual” it means that we are always ready to change and not be afraid to be people of faith. As we continue our faith journey during the next few weeks of Ordinary Time that take us up to Ash Wednesday let us remember that Jesus the Lamb of God is with us. 

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