Fr. Bob’s Homilies

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Archive for January, 2006

Second Sunday (Year C)

Posted by frmac on January 14, 2006

SECOND SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

Mark’s Gospel
January 15, 2006

Gospel Era

 

 

 

 

John the Baptist’s ‘exclaims’ to John and Andrew that Jesus is ‘the lamb of God’. We can only surmise that the Baptist knew that Jesus was the hoped for messiah, and in calling him ‘the lamb of God’, realized that the messiah which God’s people had waited and prayed for was truly going to be the unexpected. The prophecy certainly was realized when Jesus was sacrificed on the cross. No one expected a messiah who would suffer, as Jesus suffered. And, everyone seemed to expect a powerful messiah that would vanquish with miraculous might all personal suffering and humiliation in this present world.

When Jesus turned to John and Andrew who were literally following him as he journeyed, he ask them what they wanted. In response, they called Jesus ‘Rabbi’ (teacher), and tried to avoid his question by answering with a question of their own: “Where are you staying?” Unwittingly, (using the term rabbi or teacher) they told Jesus they were looking for someone to teach them, and so he invited them to ‘come and see’. He would teach them!

Whatever John and Andrew heard that afternoon (the gospel tell us it was four p.m.), it changed their lives and convinced them that they had indeed found the messiah. The very next day, Andrew tells his brother Simon that he had found the messiah. Simon decides to investigate and his life is changed, as well. Simon is even given a new name by Jesus: Peter or Rock.

It took three years of teaching for Jesus’ closest disciples to learn what Jesus had to teach them, yet it was only with the gift of God’s grace (the spirit) that they fully understood what the title ‘Lamb of God’ fully meant. Peter (the rock) stubbornly resisted the notion of Jesus’ suffering, and we know from the gospels that all the disciples held on to a notion of a messiah that would miraculouly right all their present world sufferings. Only after Jesus death and resurrection did they finally understand and appreciate the life of their friend and teacher Jesus.

TODAY

Even with the benefit of 2000 and some years of church history, we as individuals and church struggle to accept all that the term ‘lamb of God’ encapsulates. The real Jesus, the man of history, suffered, and he invites us to suffer with him. He was not born in some cuddly little manger, but in real poverty. He did not look out on the world and see his own prosperous worldly future, but the suffering of his brothers and sisters – even his own mother. He proclaimed that his kingdom was not of this world, and told us to fear those things that would kill the soul, not the body. Finally, he gave his life for us by dying on the cross!

For Jesus life was about recognizing goodness and our blessings, praising and thanking God, loving God and neighbor, overcoming darkness, and recognizing reality – both the good and the bad. It was not about putting on a pair of rose colored glasses, and seeing both with a rosy tinge. Jesus told us about the eternal – God and ourselves. Jesus told us about love and goodness – hatred and evil. Jesus revealed God and God’s ways to us, reminded us that we are all brothers and sisters and God’s children made in God’s image and likeness, and told us that with God’s help we would eventually overcome the darkness that pervades this world. As his followers, his disciples, we are to live in joyful hope, as we as individuals and church struggle together (with the Lord at our side) to build God’s Kingdom, and overcome the evil of sin and darkness. As we trust and wait upon the lord in our struggle with the darkness, God waits expectantly for us to take seriously our discipleship.

Prayer from first reading: “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”

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