2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
"Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."
Have you ever said or had someone say to you, “Don’t call us ... We’ll call you?” I think that’s usually another way of saying, “If I want to talk to you, it will need to be on my own terms … on my schedule.” Sometimes we might even say that to God. We know that God is important to us ... but we still like to think that we’re the ones who are in control ... we like to think that we’re the ones who remain in control of our relationship with Him. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending how you choose to look at it) ... for us, God doesn’t work that way. God is in control, and when God calls us, God doesn’t want to be put “on hold.”
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 66(65):4 — “All the earth shall bow down before You, O God, and shall sing to You, shall sing to Your name, O Most High!” First Reading: Is 49:3, 5-6 — “I will make you a light to the nations, that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Responsorial Psalm: Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10 — “Here am I, Lord; I come to do Your will.” Second Reading: 1 Cor 1:1-3 — “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Alleluia: Jn 1:14a, 12a — “Alleluia, alleluia. The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. To those who accepted Him, He gave power to become children of God. Alleluia, alleluia.” Gospel: Mt 3:13-17 — “After Jesus was baptized, He saw the Spirit of God coming upon Him.” Communion Antiphon: Ps 23(22):5 — “You have prepared a table before me, and how precious is the chalice that quenches my thirst."
As we heard the beginning of his first letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul recognized that he was called by God “to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.” At first, he didn’t understand what that meant, but he came to realize that his role was to announce the Good News of God’s salvation to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews. We are Christians, here and now ... today … as a result of Saint Paul’s saying “yes” to God’s call.
In the First Reading, Isaiah heard a similar call. He realized that he was formed as God’s servant in his mother’s womb so that not only the tribes of Israel would know of God’s salvation, but that all the nations “to the ends of the earth” would know God.
And in the Gospel, Jesus, in His baptism in the Jordan, also heard God’s call to announce the kingdom of God. It was revealed to Saint John the Baptist that Jesus was “the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit” when the dove came down upon Jesus at His baptism. And in our own baptism, we too are called to that same ministry of Jesus. The prayer of anointing after the baptism of a child puts it this way: “He now anoints you with the Chrism of salvation, so that you may remain as a member of Christ, Priest, Prophet, and King, unto eternal life.”
So think about it. We are called to be like Christ the Priest … to be holy and to offer prayer for ourselves and for all those in need. We are called to be like Christ the Prophet … to speak God’s word of love and mercy to a world that is desperate to hear it. And we are called to be like Christ the King … to live life as members of God’s royal family, free from sin and death.
And that led me to wonder … Why are so many of us tempted to put off answering God’s call? Maybe some of us feel that we don’t have the gifts needed to answer. God couldn’t possibly want me, could He? And of course, if you read the books of the prophets in the Bible, many, if not all, of them felt the same way. In the end, we know that God does not call the equipped … God equips the called.