Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 49:3, 5-6
First Corinthians 1:1-3
John 1:29-34

Responding to the Call

One clear theme found in the Sunday readings is that of call and what it means to respond to the call. Isaiah is told, “… you [are] 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.

In the introduction to the second reading, Paul greets the Corinthians by saying, “Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God …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.” There are two clear calls in this introduction – Paul called to be an apostle and the believers in Corinth to be holy. 

In the gospel John the Baptist tells us, “… the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he [Jesus] might be made known to Israel.”

What is the response to these calls? The unequivocal answer is the refrain to the Responsorial Psalm – “Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.” 

These calls, and many more, are not only addressed to the people of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures but to us as well. By our Baptism and our call to be holy, we are called to make Jesus known to all those with whom  we come in contact by our words and by the witness of our lives.

We live in a world besieged with wars, natural disasters, racism, homophobia, political unrest, religious discrimination, extreme nationalism, and too many other problems to list. Discouragement, anger, anxiety, and even fear might be our response. As disciples of Christ we are called to respond differently. We are the visible means by which Christ is present in our world today. We are responsible to offer Christ’s love, compassion and healing to everyone – our family members, friends, neighbors, work associates, and even to strangers. This is not a matter of kind thoughts, rather, actually doing something to make our world a better place. Take food to a sick neighbor. Donate clothing to immigrant families. Buy diapers and wipes for financially strapped mothers. Provide transportation for those in need. Write letters to legislators to vote positively on behalf of justice issues. Choose something positive that reflects your call to be a disciple of Christ and do it!

As a baptized Christian what is your call to make our world a better place?

Describe an example of when you responded with Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

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