SECOND SUNDAY OF THE YEAR A
Theme of the Sunday: JESUS THE LAMB – JESUS THE SERVANT
First Reading: Isaiah 49:3.5-6;
Responsorial: Psalm 40;
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:1-3;
Gospel: John 1:29-34;
*The Sunday Missal, Paulines Publications Africa
“Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
In today’s Gospel we see how John the Baptist points at Jesus and calls him the true Passover lamb. Jesus is the true liberator of his people, and John invites all those to go to Jesus who are searching for real liberation.
The people of Israel lived in expectation of a Saviour or Messiah. How did they come to hope for this? We must remember that there was a time when Israel was a powerful nation and was well organised under their own Kings. This period ended in disaster. Many Israelites dreamt that the liberator God would send, the Messiah, would be a powerful political leader and would give them back their land and their lost autonomy. Only a few understood their new situation and looked at the Saviour not as a powerful political leader but rather as a humble servant. He would humbly accept all the insults and suffering of his people and by this attitude would save not only his people but others too. This figure was later called the “Suffering Servant of Yahweh”.
The second Isaiah of the Exile wrote four hymns to express how the people understood his mission (Is 42: 1-9; 49: 1-6; 50,4-9; 52: 13-53: 12). Salvation does not come from a mighty king but from a humble servant, not from power but from weakness. It is in their weakness that the people will experience that it is God who saves.
At the very beginning of the year, the Word of God insists that Jesus is both Lamb and Servant, to remind us that our life as Christians has meaning in the degree in which we are ready to give it up for others (In 15: 12-14) in a spirit of humble service (In 13:14-15). For Jesus, this is the ultimate test of our love for him and for each other.
In our communities we have different ministries. How do we live these ministries? Do we accept such positions of responsibilities in order to make ourselves important in the eyes of others? Or do we give our time and energy because like Jesus we want humbly to serve our brothers and sisters? •
SECOND SUNDAY OF THE YEAR A
***Adapted from “Bible Study and Sharing on the GOSPEL OF MATTHEW for Christian Communities SUNDAYS OF THE YEAR A” by Richard Baawobr MAfr
We pray for the people of Cote d’lvoire .
“I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah
The Lord said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” And now the Lord says, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honoured in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength – he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”The word of the Lord.
See, I have come, Lord, to do your will.
I waited, I waited for the Lord, and he stooped down to me; / he heard my cry. He put a new song into my mouth, praise of our God.R.See, I have come, Lord, to do your will.
You delight not in sacrifice and offerings, but in an open ear. You do not ask for holocaust and victim. Then I said, “See, I have come.” R.See, I have come, Lord, to do your will.
In the scroll of the book it stands written of me: “I delight to do your will, O my God; your instruction lies deep within me.”R.See, I have come, Lord, to do your will.
Your justice I have proclaimed / in the great assembly. My lips I have not sealed; / you know it, O Lord. R.See, I have come, Lord, to do your will.
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The beginning of the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians
Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, to the Church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.The word of the Lord.
GOSPEL READING Matthew 3:13-17 “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John
At that time: John saw Jesus coming towards him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but for this I came baptising with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness, “I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven and remain on him. I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptise with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptises with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”The Gospel of the Lord.