Gospel Reflection for the 2nd Sunday Ordinary Time Year A – January 15th 2017
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.’
SPIRITUAL BEINGS ON A HUMAN JOURNEY
John the Baptist had been told to watch out for the Spirit of God. Somehow now he recognised the Spirit in Jesus. 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. We are more than we seem, more than a body. We are made for an eternal relationship with God, which begins now.
On Migrant Sunday, we think of the situations of asylum seekers and refugees. Many different sorts of migrants have come to our country. These are people often 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. They show us the Spirit of courage in the decision a parent has to make to bring their family to another land for a better life. Or the Spirit of sacrifice that people make in detention centres and refugee camps?
We pay tribute also to volunteers and statutory workers who do their best for our refugees.
The Spirit is freely given to all of us. John recognised that in Jesus, and at Pentecost the new community of followers welcomed the outpouring of the Spirit. With God’s help we can do the same: we can recognise the Spirit in us all, on our human journey of life.
Think of footage of refugees on TV; ask for generosity of spirit to welcome them.
Holy Spirit, influence for goodness all I do and say.
Donal Neary SJ
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger
Reflections for Year A, first published in other years in Logos Missalette, have now been published in book form:
Gospel Reflections for Sundays of Year A: Matthew, Messenger Publications 2016, €9.99
Order online at www.messenger.ie, or in Veritas and other booksellers.