|2nd Sunday in Ordinary time, 15 Jan 2017|
From the Dean's desk
With this Sunday’s liturgy we begin the Ordinary cycle of the Church’s year. It is a time when we can reflect on the reality of the Kingdom of God as shown to us through the life and ministry of Jesus. It is a time when we too can contemplate our part in the revelation of the Kingdom in our world.
It is interesting to see how John the Baptist identifies Jesus in today’s Gospel passage [John 1:29-34]. He refers to him in the following terms: as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world; as the one who existed before him; the one on whom the Spirit descended in the form of a dove; the one who will baptise with the Holy Spirit and as the Chosen One of God (Son of God).
As the Chosen One of God – the Son of God – Jesus fulfils the title Isiah speaks of today – ‘the light of the nations’. Through the life and ministry of Jesus, the salvific plan of God may reach all people.
It is an astonishing, and often little appreciated fact, that we, through our Baptism have been incorporated into this plan. As Paul puts it in today’s second reading [1 Corinthians 1:1-3] we have been called to be saints (holy people) sanctified in Jesus Christ. We are therefore active and full members of the Church, and as such we are the continuing presence of Jesus in our world. We too, through our Baptism are a ‘light to all nations proclaiming the Good News to the ends of the earth.
This sounds like a formidable task, since most of us would not have taken up a missionary apostolate. So how can we be people whose lives reach out to the ends of the earth? We need to remember that St Therese of the Child Jesus was proclaimed by the Church as the patron saint of missions, even though she did not leave her Carmelite convent. We don’t have to live in the mission in order to be imbued with the missionary spirit. As members of the Church we share in the missionary activity of the Church and its members. We can support those who are missionaries through our prayers and good works. It would be a good exercise to spend some time in prayer, fasting and good works as a means of supporting the many missionaries from Australia working around the world. We could choose an individual or a religious order or organisation involved in missionary work as our focus for prayer in the coming months. Through our prayer and support our influence does reach to the ends of the earth. Through our prayers for missionaries and their ministry we continue to share in the work of presenting Jesus as the ‘Light of the nations’.
Fr Robert Bossini