Gospel Reflection for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A – January 19th 2014
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
Seeing Jesus coming towards him, John said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. This is the one I spoke of when I said: A man is coming after me who ranks before me because he existed before me. I did not know him myself, and yet it was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptising with water.’ John also declared, ‘I saw the Spirit coming down on him from heaven like a dove and resting on him. I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me,
“The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is going to baptise with the Holy Spirit”.
Yes, I have seen and I am the witness that he is the Chosen One of God.’
John the Baptist had been told to watch out for the Spirit of God. Somehow now he recognised the this Spirit in Jesus. Hidden in Jesus is the Spirit of God which is given to all of us. Somehow he knows that this new person, Jesus, will give this spirit to all. We call it the holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus.
We talk of team spirit, spirit of generosity in a family, a bad spirit around. We have a spiritual life; this will go on forever. We are more than we seem, more than a body. We are made for an eternal relationship with God which begins now.
Sunday for Refugees
On Migrant Sunday we think of the situations of asylum seekers and refugees, all with God’s spirit. Many different sorts of migrants have come to our country, including the refugee or the asylum seeker. These are people treated badly in Ireland, in a system that seems not to be changing. They are people who for reasons of great danger cannot go back to their own country.
Tagore wrote that when people leave our house we see God’s footprints on the floor. The footprints of the spirit are the qualities of God’s spirit – gentleness, compassion, love, kindness, self-control, among others.
Pope Francis spoke to refugees in the island of Lampedusa, saying that we have fallen into a globalisation of indifference, as regards refugees.
All of us possess the holy Spirit. John recognised that in Jesus. With God’s help, we can do the same – we can recognise the Spirit in us all.
Donal Neary SJ