From Our Pastor's Desk
From Our Pastor's Desk
Sunday, January 15, 2023 – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle A Readings: Isaiah 49:3, 5-6, Psalm 40 “Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will”, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3, John 1:29-34
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, with the feast of the baptism of Jesus on Monday, the Christmas season came to an end and we entered the ordinary time. We come to Mass today and hear another account of the Baptism of Jesus, this time according to the Gospel of Saint John. John the Baptist uses the words, "This is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." What incredible news. This Jesus who came over two thousand years ago is the same Jesus who continues to come today to take away the sin of the world. Sometimes we feel discouraged by the reality of sin: the violence, the injustice, the oppression. But Jesus is coming, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. In this way, he encourages us to have confidence and hope.
Tomorrow our country will interrupt its ordinary rhythm to remember the testimony and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, great prophet of non-violence. This hero gave testimony with his words, and in the end, with his life to value the fight against oppression and discrimination. Dr. King began his career as a civil rights leader, speaking out against the segregation that was a part of daily life in this country. Little by little, he spread his message to the causes of poverty, and the injustice of the war in Vietnam. He spoke of light, of fidelity to the path of Jesus, of the power of non-violence. He left us a vision of the possible, based not on the reality of time, but on the promise of a God of love.
How good to hear today the Gospel according to Saint John. We see that the words "This is the Lamb of God, the one who takes away the sin of the world" have value in our day, within a reality that continues to be changed by sin. Jesus continues to work in the lives of sincere Christians who are dedicated to bringing justice. John's role was to testify about Jesus; tell people that Jesus was the Savior; proclaim that the Kingdom had already begun. The prophets of our day, including us, have to proclaim the same thing. God is a God of justice, and his kingdom is manifested through non-violence.
Today we have the opportunity to reflect on the words of John the Baptist, within the reality of the violence in the streets and the celebration of Doctor Martin Luther King. We see that it is possible in our days, in our culture, in our communities to live according to the vision of the gospel. May the Lord bless us with the grace we need.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Fr. Paschal Chester, SVD.