Written as an aid for homilists and a resource for the faithful, this doctrinal homily outline for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A), January 19, 2014, (1) provides insights into the Sunday Lectionary readings, (2) explicates a doctrine of Catholic Faith or morals from them, and (3) shows specific ways lay persons can live these truths. (To read more about this approach, click here.)
Central Idea: Jesus Christ is the glorious Son of God who saves and sanctifies us. Doctrine: The Sacrament of Baptism. Practical Application: Holy Water.
To view the Lectionary 64 readings, click here.
Central Idea: Jesus Christ is the glorious Son of God who saves and sanctifies us.
Reading 1 Is 49:3, 5-6
The LORD said to me: You are my servant,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.
Now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, the LORD says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
- Jesus Christ is the servant who did the will of the Father.
- Christ returns to God both Israel and people from every other nation.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10
R/ Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
Sacrifice or offering you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
- Doing God’s will is the essence of what Christ did and it is what we are called to do.
- To do God’s will we need grace, so that God’s law is within our hearts and we obey it with ready delight.
Reading 2 1 Cor 1:1-3
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Sosthenes our brother,
to the church of God that is in Corinth,
to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy,
with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
their Lord and ours.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- This greeting contains deep truths that apply both to the young church at Corinth and to us.
- We are made holy by the grace of Jesus Christ. He has established peace or real friendship between God and us.
Gospel Jn 1:29-34
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said,
‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel.”
John testified further, saying,
“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven
and remain upon him.
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.’
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
- John the Baptist testifies that Jesus Christ is the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
- Thus, Christ is innocent, will be slain like the Paschal lamb, and will remove the guilt of sin.
- John saw the Holy Spirit “come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him.”
- The Holy Spirit, that is, “the one who sent [John] to baptize with water,” told John that the one this happens to is the “Son of God.”
- The savior of the world is the Son of God who will be slain.
Doctrine: The Sacrament of Baptism
- It is good at the beginning of Ordinary Time when the Liturgy reminds us of Baptism to appreciate again our own Sacramental Baptism.
- “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit . . ., and the door which gives access to the other sacraments” (CCC 1213).
- This is expresses what the Church means by calling Baptism the first of the Sacraments of Initiation. Baptism makes us Christians, makes possible the life grace through the Holy Spirit, and makes it possible for us to receive the graces of the other Sacraments.
- “Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission” (CCC 1213).
- Baptism forgives any sins we may have committed.
- It makes us children of God.
- It makes us members of the Church, the body of Christ.
- It makes us share in the mission of the Church to live and spread the Gospel.
- “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the word”(CCC 1213).
- It is performed by pouring or immersion in water while the minister of the sacrament invokes the Blessed Trinity (“I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”)
Practical Application: Holy Water
- “Sacramentals are sacred signs instituted by the Church” that “prepare men to receive the fruit of the sacraments and sanctify different circumstances of life” (CCC 1677).
- Each time we enter Church we touch our index finger in the holy water font and make the sign of the cross, saying inwardly, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
- In this way, we recall our Baptism, remember we have died with Christ, invoke the Blessed Trinity, ask for life-giving grace, and can receive actual grace from God.
- It is understandable if we often do this without thinking, by habit, but it is also good to do it fully consciously from time to time.
- We can bring holy water home and have a font by our front door to bless ourselves upon entering and exiting our homes. We can bless ourselves with it before going to bed to live holy purity and to prepare for death.