Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 15, 2023
“Ordinary Time” is simply the “in-between” season–the weeks outside of the big seasons of Christmas and Easter and their preparation times Advent and Lent. Ordinary Time presents the story of Jesus in a continuous reading of the Gospels as well as other parts of Scripture.
Today’s First Reading introduces us to an extraordinary figure from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. The prophet speaks to us in the voice of the “servant”–that mysterious character whom we meet many times in the liturgy each year. He may be an historical figure, or may be a symbol for all of Israel—or both. But in Christian terms we identify the servant with Jesus Christ. Today the servant says God has singled him out for special work: He is to be “a light to the nations.”
In the selection from John’s Gospel, John the Baptist comes to a similar conclusion about Jesus. John tells us how he first recognized Jesus at his baptism as the “Lamb of God”–one on whom God’s Spirit rests, the Son of God. And all of us–all who have been baptized in Christ–share that same Holy Spirit and are called to undertake the same mission—being a light to others, serving others, giving of ourselves in love. The season may be called Ordinary Time, but our mission is “extraordinary!”