SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A.
15th January 2023
Isaiah 49:3,5-6; 1 Corinthians 1:1-3; John 1:29-34.
The cause of all human conflict is rivalry. True Christian witnessing is a sincere effort to ward off everything that is associated with rivalry. In today’s gospel, John the Baptist taught us how to witness with our baptism without being rivals. His example is that of respect. Respect is an act of love that distinguishes in order to establish and recognise another’s personality. He distinguishes himself from Jesus in order to establish and recognize the unique and redeeming mission of Jesus Christ.
According to the gospel, John recognised the uniqueness of Jesus and distinguished him through respect. He announced Jesus as the “lamb of God” and the “Chosen one of God” to establish his unique saving mission. Twice he revealed that he did not know Jesus but everything about Jesus was made known to him. He baptised with water in order to prepare the way for Jesus. But Jesus will baptise with the Holy Spirit in order to save his people Israel. In the second reading, Paul recognised and respected the Corinthians as fellow Christians when he said –‘… for he is their Lord no less than ours’.
The humility of John enabled him to give Jesus his due respect as the messiah. There is no need rubbing shoulders on the ground that both men command the respect and followership of a great number of people. Respect is an act of love that assures true witnessing to Jesus while maintaining peaceful and cordial relationship with others. Respect is putting our baptism into action within the sphere of human relationship. Respect keeps rivalry at bay.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.