Second Sunday in the Ordinary Time, Year A
15th January 2017
Isaiah 49:3, 5-6; 1 Corinthians 1:1-3; John 1:29-34.
Last Sunday we dwelt on an in-depth description of the sacrament of baptism. Today the gospel focuses on the witnessing to the life of Jesus Christ through the baptism we have received. The sacrament of baptism not only opens up for us a new life in Jesus Christ, it also enables us to witness actively to the life of Jesus Christ. We are called to witness to the very reason why Jesus Christ was hanging on the cross. This is a reality that he conquered by his death on the cross. We are called to continue in the mission of exposing the evils of victimization through our baptism.
In today’s gospel, John the Baptist confesses to his witness of the anointed one of God, Jesus Christ. The manner of his confession depicts for us an example of overcoming the foundations of victimization. Rivalry is at the root of every evil we can ever imagine. Rivalry is engineered by the human predicament of hating without cause. Rivalry is when a model becomes an obstacle towards the acquisition of an object. It is when there is a clash of interest on an object that cannot be shared. Rivalry played out in the conspiracy that nailed Jesus Christ on the cross. From the confession of John the Baptist, we see a witness devoid of rivalry. He said it boldly to the hearing of all that he was not the messiah. He revealed the messiah before the people thus; behold the Lamb of God. Both John the Baptist and Jesus Christ are part of the drama of salvation. It could have been easy for their interests to clash as did between Jesus Christ and the Sanhedrin. The grace of God and the humility of John the Baptist averted such rivalry from breaking out.
Witnessing to the new life in Christ through our baptism, require us to always act against rivalry. Our baptism enables us to imitate each other in deeds that are justified by righteousness. To be light to the nations, as the first reading explains, we must eschew every rivalrous tendency. Baptism enables us not to focus our interests, like Jesus Christ, on those objects that by their nature cannot be shared. The work of salvation belongs to God and John the Baptist recognized his role as a participant and not a stakeholder. His humility and confession is an example of witnessing to Christ.
Anthony Ekpunobi, CM