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Lessons from John the Baptist

     Today the Church celebrates the Second Sunday of Ordinary time, and it is the yesterday was the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Today, in the Gospel we hear again the account of Jesus birth... but from Johns point of view. During this weekend, ( and the rest of the year) we are being called to be a servant to Christ.

     John the Baptist, in todays Gospel, does three (3) distinctive things: 1) He testifies on behalf of Christ, 2) He shows his commitment to God , and 3) he recognizes Christ when he came. All three things, that John does, can help us live a better and more faithful life.

           Firstly, He testifies on behalf of Christ. John the baptist, has proclaimed; made ready the path. He has            helped other prepare (which we heard during Advent) and now we hear his affirmation of Christ. His            message that Christ has come to be baptized.

           Secondly, John shows his complete commitment to God. This becomes evident has he baptizes so                many people. He knew, that through the baptize one would become closer to God- be part of Gods              Family. They become clean and accepted by God... He understood the baptism, and how it meant                repentance. It is the fact, however, that he has listened to a voice, to go and baptize.
           Finally John, recognizes Christ. He says multiple times, HE DID NOT KNOW HIM. But he knew it           was him by the sign that God promised- the out pour of the Holy Spirit upon his own son. John                     reconized not only the human side of Jesus but the divinity: Behold the lamb of God Who takes                   away the sins of the world." or "Behold the sacrifice of God who takes away the sins of the                  world." We learn, from Johns response, that Jesus is the sacrifice who is hear to forgive our sins!

     Today, in the second reading, Paul uses the word, "Call" a lot... How he was called to by Christ, how we are called by Christ. And how the church of Corinth is called by Christ.  We are all called. Take out Pauls name in this passage, "... Paul called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God"  and replace it with yours.  "N, Called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the Will of God"  We are all called! All to fulfill Gods mission for the World he so dearly loves!

     Like John, with our calling we are to Testify, Show commitment, and Recognize Jesus. God is constantly working wondrously in our lives in many forms. He has shown us many different signs to know that he is there. And it is by Faith that we able to see these things: and Rejoice in them! In our busy lives, it is always easy to push God to the side, but, John the baptist teaches us that we must show commitment and remain rooted in Christ. Finally, like John, we must recognize Jesus not only in our lives but in everyone else's. First however, we must  stop and look back at all the ways he has helped us, and answered our prayers. Then we can work to see Christ in Others. Not just in a few, but in everyone! That is our mission! To find the love and light of Christ in everyone!

     It is by the will of God that we fulfill this command, that we accomplish the works planned for us. For John it was baptizing. That was his gift. His calling. For our selves it will be different. Helping others in other ways is exactly what it is. Jesus came to help others- to save them! We (Catholics) are here to continue that message/job to serve others.

    May we, on this Second Sunday of Ordinary time, come to hear Gods' calling to us. In the silence of prayer, may we come to Testify on behalf of Christ, Show complete commitment to God and to recognize Christ in others (where he is mostly found.) May we come, like  St Paul, to know that we have been called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus-Through the will of God the Father!



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