On this Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (the first since we concluded the Christmas season last Sunday), the Church’s Lectionary for Mass gives us an extension of the Mystery of the Baptism of the Lord. One week ago on the Lord’s Day, we heard the account from the Gospel according to Saint Matthew (3:13-17). On this Lord’s Day, we hear the passage from the Gospel according to John (1: 29-34).
Although we are in the cycle of the Lectionary in which Matthew’s Gospel is featured, the Church has us continuing to contemplate Jesus Christ’s manifestation from John’s Gospel. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! we hear from the lips of John the Baptist. And we hear his testimony that the Spirit came down upon Jesus and remained with him. These last words are crucial for us to understand the mission of Jesus as the Anointed One – the Christ – then and now. Jesus ushers in the final age, the age of the Spirit, and the Church is given the responsibility to carry on mission by bringing and freely sharing the gifts and power of the Spirit.
Jesus is the fullness of the revelation of God. Following His Death, Resurrection and Glorification, He gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to continue this revelation in His Church. Our closeness to His Church – especially in our worship on Sundays and through the Sacraments – assists us in abiding in the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. At the same time, participating in small groups, faith formation series, bible studies and prayer groups are an excellent way to keep the Spirit alive in you and your family. And, there’s always the ministries of the Church that a parish offers so that by service we make God known to the world.