Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jan 19, 2020 | Gospel Reflections

2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
John 1:29-34
Sunday Gospel Reflection
by Sister Michela Sheehan

John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the one I told you about…”.

How did John recognize Jesus? Surely John was ready to find Jesus, probably eagerly watching those in each crowd.

And we, how do we find Jesus? Where do we look? How will we recognize him?  How will we know? Will we feel something in heart and mind?

Feeling God’s presence is simply a matter of awareness. There are moments when it happens.   A first grader takes the hand of a scared, crying child and gently leads him to the classroom/ a man rushes into the burning building because he sees frightened children in a window /a young soldier falls on an (IED) (Improvised explosive device) to save the soldiers following him/Mercy peddlers visit the homeless along the river bringing acceptance and warmth/ Sisters join others at the border bringing smiles, giving food, clothing understanding and hope…Then life makes sense.

Once I can see the Mystery here, and trust the Mystery even in this piece of clay that I am – in this moment of time, then I can also see it in you. Then I am able to see the divine image in myself, in you, and eventually in all things. How we see anything is how we will see everything.

And then we discover that Jesus pushes to the social edge. Can we see Christ in the least of our brothers and sisters? That is the only description of the final judgement. Nothing about commandments, nothing about church attendance, nothing about papal infallibility; simply a matter of our ability to see. Can we see Christ in the least of our brothers and sisters? “They smell. They’re a nuisance. They are on welfare. They drain on our tax money”, we say.  Can we see Christ in the people, the nobodies who can’t play the game of success? When we see the image of God where we don’t want to see the image of God, then we see with eyes not our own.

Either we see the divine image in all created things, or we don’t see it at all. Once we see it, we are trapped. We see it and the circle keeps moving out. If we try to exclude some (homeless. blacks, gays, people on welfare, or whomever we have decided to hate), we’re not there. We don’t yet understand.

If the world is a temple, then our enemies are sacred, too. The ability to respect the outsider may be a test of true seeing. It doesn’t even stop with human beings and enemies and the least of the brothers and sisters. It moves to frogs and pansies and weeds. Everything becomes enchanting with true sight.

One God, one world, one truth, one suffering, and one love. All we can do is participate.

With gratitude to Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs

John 1:29-34

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

The Gospel of the Lord