Come and See: context

Ecce Agnus Dei - Francis Hoyland

Ecce Agnus Dei – Francis Hoyland

This coming Sunday is the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – the cycle of readings in which The Gospel according to Mark is the principal source of our Sunday gospels. That being said, our reading is from the Gospel According to John. In fact, regardless of which cycle of readings (A,B, or C), the “Second Sunday of Ordinary Time the Gospel continues to center on the manifestation of the Lord” with a gospel from John (General Introduction to the Lectionary, 105). It is done as a means of transitioning from the theme of “manifestation” highlighted in Epiphany to ordinary time readings – I suspect – because there are some years when the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated on the Monday following the Sunday celebration of Epiphany (when Epiphany Sundays falls on Jan 7th or 8th). The reading for the 2nd Sunday ensures the theme is continued in the simple verse: “We have Found the Messiah.” Continue reading

A Light to the Nations – giving voice to Faith

light2nationsOver the last several Sundays I have been connecting the readings beginning with Holy Family Sunday.  St. Paul gave us advice on being a holy family: to put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, forgiveness, and over all these, love. (cf. Col 3:12-13). And so I encourage you to use your family to practice those virtues, to become the embodiment of those virtues. Then on Epiphany Sunday, the message was to reveal those virtues to the world through your life – to become the epiphany of Christ to others. The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord followed in which the prophet Isaiah’s word says that in our baptism we are formed as a covenant the people – a vow, a promise, a bond, a connection that binds us to the promise and the power of Christ on one side and to the world on the other.

And so with good intent and hopeful hearts we work away in our personal lives and in our families – to be the person, the family, the witnesses to heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, forgiveness, and over all these, love. We want those virtues in our lives and in our families, but have we been practicing them? Have been talking about them within the family. I suspect most of us pray about it, we work at it, we succeed, we fail, we start over… mostly silently.  And think about it. If we are hesitant to speak about it within the safety of home, how likely are we to testify about it all in the company of others.? Continue reading

Behold the Lamb of God: commentary

I-saw-the-Spirit-come2John 1:29-34 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. 30  He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ 31 I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” 32 John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him. 33 I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the holy Spirit.’ 34  Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

Commentary. After John’s interrogation by priests, Levites and Pharisees, the evangelist tells us, The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’ This is but the start of a short, compact testimony by the Baptist witnessing to the One he had just baptized. Continue reading

Behold the Lamb of God: context

Baptism-JesusJohn 1:29-34 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. 30  He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ 31 I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” 32 John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him. 33 I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the holy Spirit.’ 34  Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

Context. In the prologue the Fourth Evangelist presented John as “a man sent from God” who “came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.” (John 1:6-8; see also 1:15; and later 5:33) This opening characterization sets the stage for the narration of John’s ministry in 1:19–34. John’s identity is further probed when he is called to account by a delegation sent by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. Three times John denies being a particular end-time figure: the Christ (1:20; cf. 1:8, 15); Elijah (1:21a); the Prophet (1:21b; cf. 6:14; 7:40; cf. Deut. 18:15, 18). Continue reading