January 15 is the second Sunday of “Ordinary Time,” one of the counted weeks of the liturgical year that are not part of liturgical seasons like Advent and Lent. Some “ordinary time” Sundays occur after Christmas — how many depends on whether Easter, a movable feast day, is early or late; the rest of the “Ordinary” or counted Sundays are after Easter. Easter is late this year, so we will have 8 “Ordinary Time” Sundays before Lent.
The focus of this Sunday is the Baptism of Jesus. During Advent we heard Matthew’s account of Jesus Baptism where Jesus is introduced to us not only as the man from Galilee but as God’s “Beloved Son” and “servant … with whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:13-17). Today we hear John’s account (Jn 1:29-34). It introduces Jesus as the “Lamb of God,” a title we use repeatedly at every Eucharistic celebration. By using this title John reminds us that servants must be willing to suffer for their mission.
Do you remember when you first felt you knew who you really were and what you were supposed to be doing in life? Perhaps it was a while ago, or perhaps it is just now becoming clear. I think the Church gives us two Sundays to reflect on Jesus’ baptism because as much as we are able, God gives us the same identity and mission that Jesus has! We are to be beloved children and heirs (identity), and to be servants in whom he is well pleased (mission). However, confusing everything else in life may be, let’s rest in that assurance of our relationship with God and our mission from God!
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia