Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Witnessing for Jesus
Points to note
There are two themes that we can use to discuss this week’s reading, revolving round the role of John the Baptist. The life of this cousin of Jesus is dedicated to supporting the ministry of Jesus, even from before he was born. Remember that John the Baptist leapt in the womb when Mary, pregnant with Jesus visited Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist.
John the Baptist’s role is two fold: he recognises Jesus and he points Jesus out to the crowd. In this reading, he recognised Jesus in the first sentence. Having recognised Jesus, he then introduced Jesus to the crowd.
Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven.
This incident happened the day after the baptism of Jesus that we read last week. Some commentators call it the second day of the first week of Jesus’ public ministry, the story of the whole week being told in Jn 1:19-2:12].
The Lord be with you.
All: And also with your spirit.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St John
(Jn 1: 29-34)
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.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord
We did the reading of the Baptism last week. At our baptism, we took on our names. There is one particular name that all of us took on, which happens to be the same name for all of us. What is that name? Christian: after our baptism, people call us Christians.
In the olden days, people were named after someone or something whose qualities the parents admired. When we were named Christians, whose name were we named after? Jesus.
If we are named after Jesus, would we be able to recognise him? How do you think Jesus looks like? Let the children talk about how they would imagine Jesus. Some thoughts: (i) you could limit yourself to the Jesus of the Second Coming; (ii) what about the Jesus coming in a manner you would not expect; (iii) what about the Jesus we see in the poor and homeless, etc.
Discuss how John the Baptist recognised Jesus and what he did after that.
Witnessing to Jesus
Since we are all named after Jesus, some people may ask us about him. What do we tell them? Here, we may have to be politically correct, being in a sensitive multi-religious environment and all that. It is not so much that we need to be politically correct, but remember we are preparing the children to be witnesses in the real globalised society.
What if they do not ask us? Do we make them ask? Do we do things to inspire their interest?
After we have explained how Christians should live, should we behave that same way? What would have happened if we do not?
Round off the whole discussion with an appropriate summary of what was discussed: how we recognise Jesus and witness to him if we are to be true to the name that we were all given at our baptism.