Fr Vincent's reflections on the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 2021
On this Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, John the Baptist identifies Jesus as the “Lamb of God,” which inspires Andrew and his friend to seek out Jesus. We know that Jesus is the Lamb of God and our Savior. Are we inspired to seek Jesus and commit ourselves fully to stay with him?
Watch the video: Fr Vincent's reflections on the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 2021
Read the text:
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Jan. 17, 2021)
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. R/. Amen.
The Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. R/. And with your spirit.
On this Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, let us pray:
Almighty ever-living God,
who govern all things,
both in heaven and on earth,
mercifully hear the pleading of your people
and bestow your peace on our times.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. R/. Amen.
Hopefully you have your Bible with you to follow along. If not, please pause the video to retrieve your Bible.
The Gospel today is John 1:35-42.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John
John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” — which translated means Teacher —,
“where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”
So they went and saw where Jesus was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
“We have found the Messiah” — which is translated Christ —.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
“You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas” — which is translated Peter.
The Gospel of the Lord. R/. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Welcome to the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. Here is my usual explanation of the word ordinary. The word “ordinary,” as used with the Church’s liturgical calendar does not mean “common,” as it is understood in regular conversation. Rather, here it means “counting,” as in: first, second, third, fourth, etc. So we are counting Sundays through the Church’s Liturgical Year that do not fall in the special seasons of Advent/Christmas or Lent/Easter. The First Sunday was the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord. This Second Sunday has no Feast attached to it, so it is simply counted as Number 2, or “second” Sunday. No Sunday is “common” because each Sunday celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus. But we don’t give these Sundays particular names; we just count them until Lent starts, then when the Easter Season concludes, we count again until the end of the Church Year. Enough about that . . . .
On this Second Sunday, we pray to the God who governs all things in heaven and on earth. So, does God govern my earthly life? Deep down we want God to be that important to us. Yet, it can be so easy for us to slip into letting the events of life control us more than we give control to God. The Gospel offers us a way to reflect on giving that control to God.
First, John the Baptist identifies Jesus as the “Lamb of God,” meaning the Savior of Humanity. John has been preparing his disciples for the coming of the Messiah, the Savior. So he tells them, “Jesus is the one you are waiting for.” Andrew and the other disciple of John run after Jesus. This shows they are eager to leave their current life behind to be with Jesus. Even their question, “where are you staying,” really means, “we want to be with you!” Jesus uses the word, “come,” which means “join me.” The Gospel of John records that the two did “join” Jesus for the day.
In one day, Andrew becomes convinced that John the Baptist was correct to identify Jesus as the Lamb of God, the Savior, the Messiah. Andrew is so convinced that he must give his life to Jesus that he wants his brother Simon to join them. Andrew leaves Jesus only long enough to get his brother, hoping Simon will also “stay” with Jesus.
Simon, the older brother, probably follows Andrew to Jesus intent on proving Andrew wrong. That’s not in the text, but it can be surmised by of everything else revealed about Simon Peter in the Gospels – head-strong and not easily convinced. But, Jesus sizes up Simon very quickly and gives him the nick-name “Cephas” (“rock” in Greek, or “petrus” in Latin, that is, Peter) because of that hard-head! We know that Simon Peter was not as quick as Andrew to follow Jesus, because he went back to his fishing, and only joined Jesus with Andrew when Jesus called him again at the lake shore.
Let’s apply this Gospel to ourselves. First, we want God in our lives and are excited about the opportunity to be with God/Jesus. In that excitement, we might believe that we want to “stay” with Jesus, to give our lives to him. But even though initial excitement can make us like Andrew, you and I can be like Simon, too. We are torn between keeping our regular life versus giving our life completely over to the Lord. Jesus has to call us more than once.
It is OK to acknowledge that we need more than one call from Jesus. That is why our prayer says, “mercifully hear the pleadings of your people.” In other words, “God, forgive me for not following the first time You called. Help me to listen and follow Jesus now, so I can find the peace You offer.” So, for those who are hard-headed like Peter, (like me, I must admit), let us pray that as Jesus does call us again to give our lives to him, we will not let this world continue to govern us, but we will stay with Jesus from this day forward.
The Lord be with you. R/. And with your spirit.
And may the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, ✠ and the Holy Spirit,
come down on you and remain with you for ever. R/. Amen.