Second Sunday of the Year

Is 49:3, 5-6; 1 Cor 1:1-3; Jn 1:29-34 (year a)

As the memory of Christmas begins to fade, the liturgical readings focus our thoughts on the meaning and purpose of Christ’s birth. More than this, they invite us to reflect on the meaning of our own lives.

It is in Christ alone that our sometimes aimless lives find their sure direction. Our reflection begins with the prophecy of Isaiah, spoken to a people at the point of oblivion. Hope was rekindled with the prophecy of a future messiah, a humble servant, chosen from the womb to become God’s servant. The salvation that he would bring would reach beyond the narrow compass of his own people. It would embrace the whole world.

“It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel. I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

These words were fulfilled in Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection. They continue to be fulfilled in the people he has called to be his own. In Christ, both individually and collectively, we also become a people honoured in the eyes of the Father who formed us in the womb to become his people, to gather all nations into his kingdom of peace and healing.

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