January 19, 2020: Reflection for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

by Marylou Garrett, Notre Dame Associate

This Sunday’s readings emphasize that by responding to God’s call and humbly doing his will rather than our own, we point the way to Jesus and help reveal God’s faithful love for all of creation.

In the first reading God calls his chosen people, Israel, to manifest his forgiving love to the Gentiles as well as to their fellow Jews. “I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” The future, perfect, light to the nations will be Jesus.

In John’s gospel’s account of Jesus’ baptism, John the Baptist humbly recognizes his role was to point to one greater than himself. “The reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known by Israel.” The Spirit had revealed this to John, and John put the spotlight on Jesus, the one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus’ own humility in accepting his cross out of love for us literally saved us. When we were baptized we were anointed with the same Spirit that he was. In what specific ways is the Holy Spirit calling you and me, right now, to decrease so that our modern world’s awareness of God’s tender love for all of us, right now, can increase?