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Our Christian Vocation

Time, Year A (15/01/2023)

(Isaiah 49:3, 5-6; Psalms 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10; 1Corinthians 1:1-3; John 1:29-34)

By Fr. Samuel Odeh

In our first reading from the Book of the prophet, Isaiah God calls the nation of Israel his servant.  The prophet also sees himself as God’s servant.  This calling to be of service to God began in the womb: “And now the LORD says, who formed me from the womb to be his servant…. The service to God includes the restoration of a friendship between God and his people; the servant of God is a reconciler.  However in our first reading today God adds a mission of salvation to the nations to the calling of his servant: “I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth”.  As Christians, we are the new Israel of God.  We are God’s servants and we have been given the mission of reconciling God’s people and of bringing God’s salvation to all the peoples of the earth.

In our second reading from the beginning of the first letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians, the apostle tells the church of Corinth that they are made holy in Christ Jesus and “called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”.  All Christians are called to the holiness of life in Christ Jesus.

 In our Gospel reading today John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and points him out saying, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”  Why does John the Baptist call Jesus the Lamb of God?  He is referring to the role Jesus played as the lamb sacrificed to take away our sins.  The work of the Christian continues that of Jesus.  Just as Christ lay down his life for us in service to God, so also must Christians lay down their lives for others in service to God.  In the Gospel reading today John the Baptist witnessed the Spirit descend upon Jesus and remain with him.  He identifies Jesus as the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.  Christians are baptized with the baptism of Jesus whom John the Baptist also called the Son of God.  The Christian baptized with the baptism of Christ Jesus is also baptized as a child of God.  Our baptism calls us to draw others into the family of God.  Like John the Baptist, every Christian is supposed to point out Jesus Christ to others by the manner of their lives.  Through our kindness to others and our love of prayer, we are to show others that we are in love with Jesus.  This Sunday, let us pray that we will always be faithful servants of God.  May we work for forgiveness among God’s people.  May we pursue holiness in our lives and may we build up the family of Christ. Amen

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