January 17th: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear Parish Family,
In today’s Gospel there are four phrases that warrant our reflection on how they were received by the disciples and corre-spondingly how we receive them. The first, “Behold the Lamb of God” then “What are you looking for?”; “Come and you will see,” and finally “We have found the Messiah.” These phrases in succession depict the progression of discipleship.When the disciples hear John the Baptist say, “Behold the Lamb of God,” There is no hesitation, no discussion or consideration of what it means or how they were to respond. They knew it meant salvation through the forgiveness of sins. For us it is the same. Through catechesis and devotion we already know that Jesus is our Savior and through the Mercy of God, He offers us forgiveness of our sins. “Behold the Lamb of God,” whether during Mass or in reading the Gospel, reminds us that he is the fulfill-ment of the desire of our heart. We re-spond as they did, by turning toward Jesus and following Him as Christian disciples.What are you looking for? -this Gospel reminds us that we are to make every effort to learn from Jesus through prayer and devotion, through the sacraments and further catechesis and adult formation. And the more we learn about Him and His promise of Salvation, the more we want to follow Him in his mission in acclaiming salvation to others. We evangelize, not by telling others about Christ in order that they might make a rational decision to become Christian or a better Christian, but to bring them to a closer relationship with Christ.
Come and you will see—By following Him “they will see.” Their eyes will be opened to who He is and what His mission is. Alt-hough they may not have realized the essence of the question at that moment, they began “to see” what He is all about and what their role will become as His disciple. We, as Christians, follow Him and our role as disciples becomes more clear, we “come and see” along the way of our lives as Christians who He is and what our participation is in His mission.
We have found the Messiah—when we know who Christ is through our catechesis and sacramental life, the response of our heart is to tell others about Christ and His promise of eternal life. Jesus does not promise prosperity and an easy life, He says, “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage; I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33) As Christians on a mission, we have been hated by the world for 2000 years. Persecution and martyr-dom are part of the package. Rather, Je-sus gives us the good news when He says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” Our salvation is not a worldly liberation, but for us who have “faith in God,” and also faith in [Christ],” our salvation is an eter-nal dwelling in His kingdom. Just as Jesus says to Pilate, “My Kingdom does not be-long to this world,” (John 18:36) likewise neither does the Father’s house, nor our salvation.“Behold, the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” (hprweb.com)
God bless you all!
Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG
This week is a “prayer week” with two different but related observances overlapping—the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18-25) and Nine Days for Life Novena (Jan. 21-29), as well as a time to pray for the needs of our country.
We will be posting thoughts, prayers and links for these Observances on our parish social media (Facebook—Ave Maria Parish MI; myParishApp; Remind Ave Maria First Class).
We will also be having a daily Holy Hour with Adoration and Evening Prayer at St. Mary (5-6pm) on Sun. Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri: 4-5pm on Wed