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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 01-19-14, Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 01-19-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 01/18/2014 8:10:14 PM PST by Salvation

January 19, 2014

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Reading 1 Is 49:3, 5-6

The LORD said to me: You are my servant,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.
Now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, the LORD says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10

R/ (8a and 9a) Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
R/ Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or offering you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R/ Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R/ Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R/ Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

reading 2 1 Cor 1:1-3

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Sosthenes our brother,
to the church of God that is in Corinth,
to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy,
with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
their Lord and ours.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Jn 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.”



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 01/18/2014 8:10:14 PM PST by Salvation
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2 posted on 01/18/2014 8:13:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Isaiah 49:3, 5-6

Second Song of the Servant of the Lord


[3] And he said to me, You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
[5] And now the LORD says,
who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD,
and my God has become my strength —
[6] he says:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to restore the preserved of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

49:1-55:13. Chapter 49 marks the start of the second section of the second part
of Isaiah. The first section (40:1-48:22) dealt with the release of the Jews from
exile in Babylon on the orders of the Lord, the ruler of the world and of all nations.
This second section sings of the restoration of Zion and the renewal of the people.

Almost all the oracles here presuppose that Babylon has fallen and the exiles
have returned home (although neither event is explicitly referred to). Nor is there
mention of the universal scope of salvation: the focus is mainly on future hopes
and on Jerusalem.

Most of the oracles in this section were probably proclaimed, between the years
515 and 500 BC. If that was the case, then they were addressed to a disillusioned
people: the enthusiasm that came with the return from exile and the efforts made
to rebuild Jerusalem failed to produce the desired results: there are still class dif-
ferences, greed is plain to see, and huge sectors of society are experiencing po-
verty. The kind of Jerusalem that the exiles dreamed of had not come about: it
bore no relationship to what they were experiencing; nor did it fit the image of Je-
rusalem found in many texts of the Priestly tradition (cf. “Introduction to the Pen-
tateuch”, in “The Navarre Bible: Pentateuch” (p. 20). These oracles are designed
to dispel discouragement and to raise people’s hopes by telling them about the
liberator that God is going to send, the servant of the Lord, and by proclaiming
that the holy city (now given the sacred name of Zion) will very soon be restored.
In fact, the section can be divided into alternating poems on the servant and on
Zion: 49:1-13, the “servant” (second oracle); 49:14-50:3, “Zion”; 50:4-11, the “ser-
vant”, (third oracle and exhortation); 51:17-52:12, Zion; 52:13-53:12, the “servant”
(fourth oracle); 54:1-17, “Zion” (Jerusalem). Verses 1-13 of chapter 55 are an ex-
hortation to commit oneself to the new Covenant.

49:1-6. In the first Song of the Servant of the Lord (42:1-9) we meet the “servant”
for the first time and we are told of his mission to liberate the exiles. In this se-
cond song, the servant himself speaks. He addresses the “coastlands”, “peo-
ples from afar”, and he is conscious of having been chosen by God from his mo-
ther’s womb to carry out God’s plans of salvation even in those distant parts (cf.
vv. 1-3). Here we are told about two aspects of his mission, which we will hear
more about in the oracles that follow. First, he is to play a leading role in the re-
covery of the tribes and the repatriation of the exiles (v. 5); second, he will ex-
tend salvation to the ends of the earth (cf. v. 6).

This poem contains things that the servant has to say about himself (vv. 1-4),
and things that God says about the servant (vv. 5-6). The servant is well aware
that he was called by God, even from his mother’s womb, (like Jeremiah; cf. Jer
1:5) and has been charged with preaching to the pagan peoples (”the coast-
lands”) or at least to his compatriots in the diaspora (cf. v. 1; cf. Jer 1:1-10; 25:
13-38); he has been endowed with qualities that enable him to speak out, with
words that find their mark like arrows, even if that creates divisions (v. 2; cf. Jer
1:10); and also, despite the divine protection given him, he feels depressed and
disappointed, as happened to Jeremiah (vv. 3-4; cf. Jer 1:7; :8:18-20). Everything
that the servant does is grounded on what the Lord has told him: “You are my
servant, Israel” (v. 3). Some commentators are of the view that “Israel” here is
a later interpretation, put in to support the collectivist interpretation of the ser-
vant that soon became widespread; but there is little evidence to support that:
the word “Israel” is missing only in one manuscript, and not an important one
at that. The mention of Israel does not argue against the servant’s being an indi-
vidual rather than a collectivity, for in poetry a person can be addressed by his
own name or by his family name. In fact, both in biblical Israel and nowadays
we often find people using their place of birth as a surname.

In vv. 5-6 the Lord spells out the servant’s mission: it is to renew the people in
such a way that even non-Israelites can see the light and attain salvation. Al-
though the universal mission of the servant is not clearly defined here, for his
work is meant to be confined to the tribes of Jacob, still the achievement of this
objective (the re-assembling of Israel) will be a kind of light to help the pagan
nations see and acknowledge God. The expression “light to the nations”. (v. 6)
already occurred in the earlier poem (42:6); there it could be taken in a social
sense—to bring about the liberation of the exiles and captives; here, the religious
meaning is clear: salvation will spread to all the nations.

To sum up, the servant of the Lord (be he an individual or a collectivity, or more
likely both) has been chosen by God, who loves him most specially; he has all
the main qualities of a prophet; and he must influence his compatriots so as to
enlighten those from outside, and bring them salvation.

The messianic interpretation of the servant figure, based on this second song,
was widespread among the Jews of Alexandria who made the Septuagint Greek
translation; it was also held by members of the Qumran community and by some
authors of the period between the Old and New Testaments (the author of the
“Book of Enoch”, for example). All these interpreted the servant as standing for
the entire people of Israel. Christians, from the beginning, applied the songs of
the servant to Jesus, and saw them as finding fulfillment in his life. Thus, although
the image of the “sharp sword” (v. 2) refers to the effectiveness of the word of God,
in Hebrews 4:12-13 we find it used with reference to Revelation as a whole which
is fully and perfectly manifested in Jesus Christ (cf. also Rev 1:16 and 2:12). We
find the expression, “light to the nations” or “light to the peoples” being applied
by Simeon to Jesus (Lk 2:32). Indeed, in the Acts of the Apostles it is applied to
those who, in line with Jesus’ teaching and as cooperators in his work of salvation,
are setting out to preach to the Gentiles, as the words Paul and Barnabas speak
in the synagogue of Psidian Antioch testify: “It was necessary that the word of
God should be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it from you, and judge your-
selves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord
has commanded us, saying, ‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, that
you may bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 13:46-47).

Hence the Church sees her mission as spreading the truth about Jesus, the light
that enlightens everyone: “The light, of God’s face shines in all its beauty on the
countenance of Jesus Christ, ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Col 1:15), the ‘re-
flection of God’s glory’ (Heb 1:3), ‘full of grace and truth’ (Jn 1:14). Christ is ‘the
way, and the truth, and the life’ (Jn 14:6). [...] Jesus Christ, the ‘light of the na-
tions’, shines: upon the face of his Church, which he sends forth to the whole
world to proclaim the Gospel to every creature (cf. Mk 16:15). Hence the Church,
as the people of God among the nations, while attentive to the new challenges of
history and to mankind’s efforts to discover the meaning of life, offers to everyone
the answer which comes from the truth about Jesus Christ and his Gospel” (John
Paul II, “Veritatis Splendor”, 2).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 01/18/2014 8:15:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 Corinthians 1:1-3

Greeting


[1] Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our bro-
ther Sosthenes,

[2] To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus,
called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of
the Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

[3] Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-9. With slight variations almost all St Paul’s letters begin in the same kind of
way: there is a greeting (vv. 1-3), which carries the name of the writer, information
on the addressee(s), and the conventional phrase; and an act of thanksgiving to
God (vv. 4-9), in which the Apostle refers to the main qualities and endowments
of the Christians to whom he is writing. By comparing his letters with other let-
ters that have come down to us from the same period, it is quite apparent that
St Paul usually begins his letters in the style of the time. Yet he does not entire-
ly follow this rigid pattern: he changes the usual opening—”Greeting!” (cf. Acts 15:
23; 23:26)—to this more personal one, which has a pronounced Christian stamp:
“Grace to you and peace.” Also, the way in which he introduces himself and de-
scribes those he is addressing tells much more than a simple “Paul to the Corin-
thians: greeting!” Even his words of thanksgiving convey tenderness and warmth
— and their tone is not merely human, for he attributes to God the virtues he prai-
ses in the faithful.

The Fathers of the Church have drawn attention to this characteristic of Paul’s
letters — the way he manages to convey a deep doctrinal message in a familiar
style, nicely suited to whomever he happens to be addressing: “A doctor”, St
John Chrysostom explains, “does not treat the patient in the same way at the
start of his illness as when he is recovering; nor does a teacher use the same
method with children as with those who need more advanced tuition. That is how
the Apostle acts: he writes as suits the needs and the times” (”Hom. On Rom”,
Prologue).

1. St Paul attaches to his name three features which identify him — his divine
calling; his office as Apostle of Jesus Christ; and the will of God, the source of
his apostolic vocation.

“Called”: this is a carefully chosen word designed to convey the vigorous and per-
sonal way God called him. He calls all men to faith, to grace, to holiness, and to
heaven (cf., e.g. Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:2; 1:26; 7:20; Eph 1:18). By defining himself
as “called” (cf. Rom 1:1), St Paul is very probably referring to the episode on the
road to Damascus (cf. Acts 9:1-19), when Christ changed his life, as he had ear-
lier changed the lives of the Twelve.

“Apostle of Christ Jesus”: Paul can find no stronger expression than this to de-
scribe his mission: he is forever applying this title to himself—thirty-five times by
our reckoning. This fact of his apostleship is the basis of his authority — authority
to praise, teach, admonish and correct orally and in writing. He is so totally iden-
tified with this mission that he has no other purpose than to pursue it; his life is
dedicated to this end; all his thoughts, words and actions are aimed at achieving
it. Humbly (because he once persecuted the Church: 1 Cor 15:9) and yet forth-
rightly (cf. 1 Cor 9:1-2) he puts himself on the same level as the Twelve as far as
vocation and apostleship are concerned.

“By the will of God”: the Apostle’s energy and vitality are ascribable not to him-
self but to God, who had plans for Paul ever since he was in his mother’s womb
(Gal 1: 15); so much so that later in this letter he actually says, “If I preach the
Gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me.
Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel” (1 Cor 9:16).

“Our brother, Sosthenes”: it is uncertain whether this was the same person as
the ruler of the synagogue in Corinth mentioned in Acts (18:17). The prominent
position given him here suggests that he was someone well-known to the com-
munity at Corinth, either for his ministry among them or because he often ac-
companied St Paul; he may have been the secretary, or scribe, who actually
wrote the letter down (cf. 16:21).

2. “The church of God at Corinth”: the addressee of the letter. The very grammar
of the phrase emphasizes the fact that the Church is not the totality of the local
communities: rather, each local community—here, the Christians of Corinth — re-
presents the whole Church, which is one and indivisible: “The Apostle calls it
[the community] ‘the church of God’ in order to show that unity is one of its es-
sential and necessary characteristics. The Church of God is one in its members
and forms nothing but a single Church with all the communities spread through-
out the world, for the word ‘church’ does not mean schism: it means unity, har-
mony, concord” (St John Chrysostom, “Hom on 1 Cor”, 1, “ad loc”.).

In another three brush-strokes St Paul here describes those who make up the
Church — those sanctified in Jesus Christ, those called to be saints, those who
invoke the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Those sanctified in Christ Jesus”: the faithful receive at Baptism the grace which
makes them a holy people (cf. Ex 19:6; 1 Pet 2:9); the participle “sanctified” im-
plies something stable, such as is the intimate union between the individual Chris-
tian and Jesus. The formula “in Christ Jesus” here refers to the fact that the bap-
tized are grafted on to Christ like branches attached to a wine (cf. Jn l5:1ff); this
link with Christ is what makes them saints, that is, sharers in God’s own holiness;
and it involves a duty to strive for moral perfection. “As those who profess any art,
even though they depart from its rules, are still called artists, so in like manner
the faithful, although offending in many things and violating the engagements to
which they had pledged themselves, are still called holy, because they have been
made the people of God and have consecrated themselves to Christ by faith and
Baptism. Hence, St Paul calls the Corinthians sanctified and holy, although it is
certain that among them there were some whom he severely rebuked as carnal,
and charged with grosser crimes” (”St Pius V Catechism”, I, 10, 15).

“Called to be saints”: through faith and Baptism “all Christians in any state or
walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of love”
(Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 40).

“Those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”: this cir-
cumlocution describes Christian believers (cf. Acts 9:14, 21; 22:16; Rom 10:12);
what makes them different from others is that they worship Jesus Christ as Lord
and God, in the same way as the faithful of the Old Covenant invoked the name
of Yahweh. To be a member of the Church of God, therefore, it is essential that
a person believe that Christ is God. “We believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is
the Son of God. He is the eternal Word of the Father before time began, one in
substance with the Father, “homoousios to Patri”, through whom all things were
made. He was incarnate of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit and
was made man. ‘Equal, therefore, to the Father according to his divinity, less
than the Father according to his humanity, his unity deriving not from some im-
possible confusion of substance but from his Person”’ (Paul Vl, “Creed of the
People of God”, 11).

3. Peace of soul, that “serenity of mind, tranquility of soul, simplicity of heart,
bond of love, union of charity” of which St Augustine spoke (”De Verb. Dom.
Serm.”, 58), originates in the friendship with God which grace brings with it; it
is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 5:22-23). This is the only true kind
of peace: “There is no true peace, just as there is no true grace, other than the
grace and peace which come from God,” St John Chrysostom teaches, “Pos-
sess this divine peace and you will have nothing to fear, even if you be threa-
tened by the direct danger, whether from men or even from the demons them-
selves; whereas see how everything is a cause of fear for the man who is at
war with God through sin” (”Hom. on 1 Cor”, 1, “ad loc”.).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 01/18/2014 8:16:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: John 1:29-34

The Witness of John (Continuation)


[29] The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him, and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! [30] This is He
of whom I said, `After me comes a man who ranks before me, for He was before
me.’ [31] I myself did not know Him; but for this I came baptizing with water,
that He might be revealed to Israel.” [32] And John bore witness, “I saw the Spi-
rit descend as a dove from Heaven, and it remained on Him. [33] I myself did not
know Him; but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, `He on whom
you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is He who baptizes with the Holy
Spirit.’ [34] And I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

29. For the first time in the Gospel Christ is called the “Lamb of God”. Isaiah had
compared the sufferings of the Servant of Yahweh, the Messiah, with the sacrifice
of a lamb (cf. Isaiah 53:7); and the blood of the paschal lamb smeared on the door
of houses had served to protect the firstborn of the Israelites in Egypt (cf. Exodus
12:6-7): all this was a promise and prefiguring of the true Lamb, Christ, the victim
in the sacrifice of Calvary on behalf of all mankind. This is why St. Paul will say
that “Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7). The ex-
pression “Lamb of God” also suggests the spotless innocence of the Redeemer
(cf. 1 Peter 1:18-20; 1 John 3:5).

The sacred text says “the sin of the world”, in the singular, to make it absolutely
clear that every kind of sin is taken away: Christ came to free us from Original
Sin, which in Adam affected all men, and from all personal sins.

The Book of Revelation reveals to us that Jesus is victorious and glorious in Hea-
ven as the slain lamb (cf. Revelation 5:6-14), surrounded by saints, martyrs and
virgins (Revelation 7:9, 14; 14:1-5), who render Him the praise and glory due Him
as God (Revelation 7:10).

Since Holy Communion is a sharing in the sacrifice of Christ, priests say these
words of the Baptist before administering it, to encourage the faithful to be grate-
ful to our Lord for giving Himself up to death to save us and for giving Himself to
us as nourishment for our souls.

30-31. John the Baptist here asserts Jesus’ superiority by saying that He existed
before him, even though He was born after him. Thereby he shows us the divinity
of Christ, who was generated by the Father from all eternity and born of the Virgin
Mary in time. It is as if the Baptist were saying: “Although I was born before Him,
He is not limited by the ties of His birth; for although He is born of His mother in
time, He was generated by His Father outside of time” (St. Gregory the Great,
“In Evangelia Homiliae”, VII).

By saying what he says in verse 31, the Precursor does not mean to deny his
personal knowledge of Jesus (cf. Luke 1:36 and Matthew 3:14), but to make it
plain that God revealed to him the moment when he should publicly proclaim Je-
sus as Messiah and Son of God, and that he also understood that his own mis-
sion as precursor had no other purpose than to bear witness to Jesus Christ.

32-34. To emphasize the divinity of Jesus Christ, the Evangelist includes here the
Precursor’s testimony regarding Jesus’ Baptism (cf. the other Gospels, which de-
scribe in more detail what happened on this occasion: Matthew 3:13-17 and para-
graph). It is one of the key points in our Lord’s life, in which the mystery of the
Blessed Trinity is revealed (cf. note on Matthew 3:16).

The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, of whom it is said in Genesis 1:2 that He
was moving over the face of the waters. Through this sign of the dove, the Isaiah
prophecies (11:2-5: 42:1-2) are fulfilled which say that the Messiah will be full of
the power of the Holy Spirit. The Baptist points to the great difference between
the baptism he confers and Christ’s Baptism; in John 3, Jesus will speak about
this new Baptism in water and in the Spirit (cf. Acts 1:5; Titus 3:5).

“The Son of God”: it should be pointed out that in the original text this expression
carries the definite article, which means that John the Baptist confesses before
his listeners the supernatural and transcendent character of Christ’s messiahship
— very far removed from the politico-religious notion which Jewish leaders had
forged.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 01/18/2014 8:17:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

Isaiah 49:3,5-6 ©

The Lord said to me, ‘You are my servant, Israel,

in whom I shall be glorified’;

I was honoured in the eyes of the Lord,

my God was my strength.

And now the Lord has spoken,

he who formed me in the womb to be his servant,

to bring Jacob back to him,

to gather Israel to him:

‘It is not enough for you to be my servant,

to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel;

I will make you the light of the nations

so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’


Psalm

Psalm 39:2,4,7-10 ©

Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.

I waited, I waited for the Lord

  and he stooped down to me;

  he heard my cry.

He put a new song into my mouth,

  praise of our God.

Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.

You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings,

  but an open ear.

You do not ask for holocaust and victim.

  Instead, here am I.

Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.

In the scroll of the book it stands written

  that I should do your will.

My God, I delight in your law

  in the depth of my heart.

Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.

Your justice I have proclaimed

  in the great assembly.

My lips I have not sealed;

  you know it, O Lord.

Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.


Second reading

1 Corinthians 1:1-3 ©

I, Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle, together with brother Sosthenes, send greetings to the church of God in Corinth, to the holy people of Jesus Christ, who are called to take their place among all the saints everywhere who pray to our Lord Jesus Christ; for he is their Lord no less than ours. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send you grace and peace.


Gospel Acclamation

cf.Lk19:38,2:14

Alleluia, alleluia!

Blessings on the King who comes,

in the name of the Lord!

Peace in heaven

and glory in the highest heavens!

Alleluia!

Or

Jn1:14,12

Alleluia, alleluia!

The Word was made flesh and lived among us:

to all who did accept him

he gave power to become children of God.

Alleluia!


Gospel

John 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.’


6 posted on 01/18/2014 8:23:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
7 posted on 01/18/2014 8:25:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
8 posted on 01/18/2014 8:26:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 
Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

9 posted on 01/18/2014 8:29:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


10 posted on 01/18/2014 8:30:41 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

11 posted on 01/18/2014 8:31:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


12 posted on 01/18/2014 8:32:27 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Feast of
the Holy Name of Jesus


Luke 2:21 "...Et vocatum est Nomen eius IESUS"
("And His Name was called JESUS")

Psalm 90:14 "Because he hoped in me I will deliver him:
I will protect him because he hath known My Name."

Zacharias 10:12 "I will strengthen them in the Lord,
and they shall walk in His Name, saith the Lord."

Apocalypse 3:8 "I know thy works. Behold, I have given before thee a door opened, which no man can shut: because thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied My Name."

Apocalypse 15:4 "Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and magnify Thy Name?..."

 

Blessed be the most holy Name of Jesus without end!

 

January Devotion: The Holy Name of Jesus

The month of January is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus. This feast is also celebrated on January 3. Here is an explanation of the devotion.

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has associated entire months to special devotions. The devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus has been traditionally associated with the month of January, due to its celebration on January 3. The name Jesus was given to the Holy Child at God's command (Luke 1:31). The Holy Name is all-powerful because of the Person who bears it; we honor it because of the command of Christ, that we should pray in His Name and because it reminds us of all the blessings we receive through our Holy Redeemer. Hence St. Paul was able to write to the Philippians: ". . . at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth" (Phil. 2:10). By means of this devotion we also make amends for improper use of the Holy Name.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Prayer/Hymn in Honor of the Most Holy Name of Jesus - Iesu, Dulcis Memoria

Iesu, Dulcis Memoria is a celebrated 12th century hymn attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), Doctor Mellifluus. The entire hymn has some 42 to 53 stanzas depending upon the manuscript. Parts of this hymn were used for the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, which was formerly celebrated on the Sunday between the Circumcision and Epiphany, or failing such a Sunday, on January 2. The part below was used at Vespers. In the liturgical revisions of Vatican II, the feast was deleted, though a votive Mass to the Holy Name of Jesus had been retained for devotional use. With the release of the revised Roman Missal in March 2002, the feast was restored as an optional memorial on January 3.

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Jesus' name,
The Savior of mankind.

O hope of every contrite heart!
0 joy of all the meek!
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah! this
Nor tongue nor pen can show
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.

Jesus! our only hope be Thou,
As Thou our prize shalt be;
In Thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity. Amen.

---Roman Breviary

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

O Divine Jesus, Thou hast promised that anything we ask of the Eternal Father in Thy name shall be granted.

O Eternal Father. In the name of Jesus, for the love of Jesus, in fulfillment of this promise, and because Jesus has said it, grant us our petitions for the sake of Jesus, Thy Divine Son. Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

 

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Phil:2:10-11

 


 

 

The Most Holy Name
The Power of Jesus’ Name
What does IHS stand for? The meaning of the Holy Name of Jesus [Catholic Caucus]
Litany Of The Holy Name of Jesus
Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
Jesus, The Name above all Names
Devotion to the Holy Name (of Jesus) [Catholic Caucus]
Lessons In Iconography : The Chi Rho - Christ
St. Francis de Sales on the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Excerpt from a Sermon) (Catholic Caucus)
St. Francis de Sales on the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

St. Bernard on the Most Holy Name of Jesus [Ecumenical]
Saving the day in His Holy Name: St. Genevieve gets a reprieve [Catholic Caucus]
The Holy Name of Jesus
Holy Name of Jesus [San Bernadino of Siena] Ecumenical
The Holy Name of Jesus
Devotion to the Holy Name [of Jesus]
The Name of Jesus: Its Power in Our Lives
The Holy Name of Jesus
Devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus
The Holy Name of Jesus

13 posted on 01/18/2014 8:32:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
January 2014

Pope's Intentions

Universal: That all may promote authentic economic development that respects the dignity of all peoples.

For Evangelization: That Christians of diverse denominations may walk toward the unity desired by Christ.

14 posted on 01/18/2014 8:33:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A

Commentary of the day
Saint Cyril of Alexandria (380-444), Bishop, Doctor of the Church
Commentary on Saint John's gospel, 2, prologue ; PG 73,192

"Behold, the Lamb of God"

“John saw Jesus coming toward him and said: 'Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world'...” For one lamb has died for all, winning back for God the Father the whole flock of those who dwell on earth. One died for all in order to bring all back to God; one died for all that all might be won for him... For we were all living in our many sins and, for this reason, had a debt of death to pay and became mortal. That is why the Father delivered up his Son for our sakes (Jn 3,16; Mk 10,45). One died for all since all things are in him and he is above all. One died for all that we might all live in him, since death, which had swallowed up the lamb that was sacrificed for all, has yielded them all back again in and with him. For we were all included in the Christ who died for us and in our place and who was raised to life again.

The origin and occasion of death is sin. But once sin was destroyed how could death escape complete destruction? Once the root has died how can the seedling coming out of it still be preserved? Once sin has been wiped out what fault remains for which we might die? So let us joyfully celebrate the sacrifice of the lamb, saying: “Death, where is your victory? Hell, where is your sting?” (1Cor 15,55; Hos 13,14)... “Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (Gal 3,13) so that we might escape from the curse of sin.


15 posted on 01/18/2014 8:36:42 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY JN 1:29-34

A clerical gossip monologue

Fr. Jerry J. Pokorsky

 

“What do you make of that fellow by the name of John, the son of Zechariah, the rather eccentric priest who died years ago? It must have been more than 30 years since the old man lost his marbles during his temple assignment. I have only a vague recollection of the story. But there was something about Zechariah receiving a vision during his temple worship and then losing his speech for the months before John’s birth. Very odd, but he pretty much dropped out of sight. The son was a pious sort in his youth, very serious about the Torah and the prophets. More serious than most rabbis, I’d say.

“I seem to recall when Zechariah and his wife died his son drifted off into the desert and disappeared for many years. Now he’s back, a grown man and causing a bit of a stir across the Jordan.

“Apparently he’s quite a spectacle. They say he dines on locusts and wild honey and cloaks himself with camel skins. Frankly, if it were up to me, I’d have him committed to one of Herod’s jails, if only for his own safety. He certainly lacks the tact necessary to deal with the people around synagogues — including Pilate’s soldiers. Yet people are coming from all around just to hear him preach. They think he’s a prophet or maybe even the Messiah. Can you imagine that? That’s all we need around here, another messiah to draw the attention of Herod and the Romans. Without Roman circuses, the centurions and the low life lurking about Jerusalem always are looking for fresh meat for their entertainment. Round up the usual suspects and crucify the loudmouths. Looks like John might be their next celebrity.

“The chief priests in Jerusalem sent a delegation of scribes and Pharisees to check the guy out. (I’m sure glad I wasn’t sent.) They included the usual weasels who find any reason to bilk our temple pilgrims. Do you know what John did? He gazed at them, I’m told, with fierce and determined eyes and, in front of everyone, called them a ‘brood of vipers.’ I would have loved to have seen their faces. Well said, old boy. He surely sized them up correctly. The poor guy said something about ‘the wrath to come.’ He’s right about that one, too, but not in the way he thinks. These fellows have long memories and I’m afraid John himself will learn something about ‘wrath’ before it’s all over. But it will have nothing to do with the wrath of God. He won’t know what’s hit him.

“Collections? No, I haven’t noticed any change in my collections. Pretty much holding steady, although more folks are showing up on the Sabbath. Mostly transients and riff raff, though. I can’t expect them to pony up the collections in any significant way. Yet they speak warmly of John and are persuaded he’s up to something very good and noble. Something about, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord.’ Nice thought, that. He’s dunking them at the Jordan River and calling it a ‘baptism of repentance.’ John obviously doesn’t know our rituals, how carefully we purify ourselves and the inside and outside of our drinking cups. He clearly needs to spend some time in formation with the Pharisees.

“You mean he actually accused Herod of living in sin with Herodias? You’ve got to be kidding? Nothing new, of course, but Caiaphas will be furious. He warned us to keep our religion on the inside of the synagogues and within the walls of the temple. We are not to judge, certainly not Herod and the Romans. At the annual gathering of scribes, if he said it once, he said it a dozen times, we need to be careful and, if necessary, it is ‘better that one man die than the whole Jewish nation.’ Sounds like John will be matzah bread sooner rather than later.

“He’s already in jail? When did that happen? Well, the chief priests won’t lift a finger to help. Just as well. Things will calm down now and we can get on with our lives. Makes me all the more grateful I never satisfied my curiosity by paying him a visit.

“Still, there are a few disturbing things he said. What do you suppose he meant by ‘He must increase and I must decrease?’ Well, decrease he did. That’ll teach him to throw sand at Herod and ignore the wise counsel of Caiaphas. But who is it that ‘must increase’? John also said he wasn’t worthy to untie the man’s sandal strap. John doesn’t sound like one of us, does he? Imagine that flea-infested camel-hair-clad desert nomad at one of our fine banquets. I bet he’d even refuse to sit at the head table.

“What do you suppose he meant when he told his followers — and this I heard just the other day — to ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’? He said that the fellow ‘existed before’ him, ‘ranks ahead’ of him, and that he, John, baptized Him with water so that this mysterious stranger ‘might be made known to Israel.’ And most disturbing of all, he called the mystery man the ‘Son of God.’ The last time there was talk of a messiah around here Herod’s daddy slaughtered 40 male babies in Bethlehem to make sure there would be none of them arriving on his watch.

“Now that John is in jail, though, with a little luck, nothing will come of any of this. I hope the synagogue collections don’t take a hit.”

Fr. Pokorsky is pastor of St. Michael Church in Annandale.


16 posted on 01/18/2014 8:48:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

Year A

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, "Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
30 This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'
31 I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel."
32 And John testified, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.
33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'
34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God." (NRSV)

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Testimony of John the Baptist
John knew about the coming Salvation of the Human race, he was preparing the way for my coming and happily testified of me when he saw me entering the waters of the Jordan.

Thousands of years ago, the Israelites had eaten the Passover meal, the spotless lamb that would be their purification before the coming of the angel of death. This was a symbolic meal of the Holy Eucharist, which I would offer to the world as food for the journey of the soul. I myself was to be the sacrificial lamb, the Savior of the world.

He said: Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, but who could really understand at that moment that I was going to take the blame for all sins and be sacrificed as the Lamb of God? I would sprinkle and wash souls with my blood, I would nourish them with the food of life and everyone who would accept me could stand blameless before God the Father.

John was very excited with my appearance and He happily testified of me. He was born before me, yet he said that I was before Him, He knew that I was the Son of God. He declared that he was baptizing with water for repentance, but that my Baptism would be with fire and with the Holy Spirit. He demonstrated his humility by saying that he was not worthy to untie the sandals of my feet, and that he was not worthy to baptize the One who was offering Baptism for the forgiveness of sins. He was a humble man indeed, teaching a saying that everyone should put into practice: "I must diminish so that He may increase".

My Baptism was a moment of Glory for the Holy Trinity. John gave testimony of the vision of the Heavens being opened and the Spirit of God descending upon me in the shape of a dove, my Father’s voice was heard saying: "You are my beloved Son; in You I am well pleased".

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary

17 posted on 01/18/2014 8:59:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

Who is Jesus Christ? A Homily for the 2nd Sunday of the Year

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

As Ordinary time (tempus per anum) opens up, the lectionary continues to “introduce” Christ to us. Last week he was baptized obtained many gifts for us as he was manifested by the Father.

This week is a continuation of sorts as John the Baptist elaborates on Who Jesus is. John’s words are brief but they are packed with Christological teaching. In this Gospel we learn at least five things about Jesus. He learn that he is prefigured, preexistent, preeminent, powerful and the presence of God. Let’s look at each one.

1. Prefigured – The text says, John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Now, unless you know the history of this moment, it seems a little odd. A full grown man approaches John the Baptist and he says, Look! There is the Lamb of God.

But for those who know the scriptures John is really answering a question that was asked by Isaac some 1800 years prior to this event. Abraham has received from God a strange and terrible command that he take his son to Mt. Moriah (present day Jerusalem) and there offer him in sacrifice. As they arrive at the foot of Moriah, here is where we join the Genesis text:

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. (Gen 22:6ff).

Do you get it? A promised son has wood laid upon his shoulder and is made to carry it up a hillside, the same hillside where “Golgotha” will one day be found. There, on the top of that hill he is to be laid on the wood and killed. Sound familiar? Of course, it is a prefigurement of Christ, or a “type” of Christ. Things are starting to look grim for Isaac who gets nervous and says, “Daddy – where is the Lamb?” You know the rest of the story. It is true that there was a ram caught in the thicket which God provided that day, but that ram pointed to Christ.

And so the question, “Where is the Lamb?” wafted up on the breeze and got repeated down through the generations. Some five hundred years later at the end of the Egyptian slavery the blood of the lamb also protected Isaac’s descendants from death. And every Passover the question was still asked, where is the Lamb, referring to the Passover lamb. Here too, the Passover lamb was but a symbol, a prefigurement of Christ.

Now, standing on the banks of the Jordan John the Baptist answers Isaac’s question repeated down through the centuries: “Where is the Lamb?” “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” So the first thing we learn of Christ is that he was prefigured, here and in many other places in the Old Testament.

2. Preexistent – The text says, He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ Now this too is a strange thing for a man to say about his younger cousin. Jesus was born six months after John the Baptist, yet John says, he existed before me. But John is clearly teaching us here of Christ’s pre-existence. Before his assuming a human nature, Jesus existed eternally with the Father. There never was a time when Jesus the Son was not. He is eternally begotten by the Father, he existed before all ages. Scripture says of him:

3. Preeminent – The text says I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” In effect John is saying, I exist for him. My purpose is to reveal him. He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30) Jesus is greater than John or any prophet or any world leader. Jesus is the Groom, John is but the best man.

4. Powerful – The text says, 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.’

The baptism of John could only announce repentance and call for it. But it could not truly wash away sins. The Baptism of Jesus can.

Even more, it does not only take away sins but Jesus’ Baptism also confers the Holy Spirit. We are thus given a whole new life. Sin is taken away and in its place grace upon grace is given. Grace to restore us, renew us and refashion us. Grace that equips, empowers and enables us. Grace that sanctifies, gives sonship and seals us with the Holy Spirit.

All this is in fulfillment of Ezekiel 36:25ff which says I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. Scripture also says, But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become the children of God; (Jn 1:12)

5. Presence of God – the text says, Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.” Jesus would say elsewhere, To see me is to have seen the Father, the Father and I are one (John 14:9) As the Son of God, he manifests the Father, he is the presence of God in this world. He shares fully in the one divine essence and as Son shows us the Father. He is the presence of God among us.

So here in a brief passage are five important teachings about Jesus Christ. He has existed forever, was prefigured in the Old Testament, has priority above and beyond anyone we know or think important, he has the power not only to save us from sin but to give us the very life of God, and as Son of God, He is God, and thus is God’s very presence among us. He is not just the man from Galilee, he is very God from Heaven.


18 posted on 01/18/2014 9:09:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
Reading I: Isaiah 49:3,5-6 II: 1Cor 1:1-3


Gospel
John 1:29-34

29The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
30This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me.'
31I myself did not know him; but for this I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel."
32And John bore witness, "I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him.
33I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'
34And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."


Interesting Details
One Main Point

LAMB OF GOD, WHO TAKES AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD

John the Baptist presumably did not know Jesus, but he is the first to bear witness and to proclaim that Jesus is the Lamb of God, who has the power to take away the sins of the world. John testifies as he himself sees and describes the Spirit's descending and remaining upon Jesus.


Reflections
  1. The people who went to John the Baptist on the bank of the Jordan River might have different attitudes: a great number came to be baptized, some by curiosity or just to be with friends, others to question and to criticize.

    By my activities in the church or in my community group, who am I in the crowd on the bank of the Jordan River?

  2. Pausing the baptism, humbling himself, directing the attention of people to the person being in sight, John the Baptist courageously steps over his "ego" and acts under the light of the Holy Spirit; he turns himself as an instrument for the Holy Spirit.

    What are the motives in my actions?

  3. John the Baptist chooses the most shallow spot in the Jordan River, where people from nations can travel or do business, for his mission. Therefore, the crowd includes not only Israelites, but also people from other countries, other cultures and economics.

    Is my mission limited only within my own, my family's, or my group's salvation?


19 posted on 01/18/2014 9:14:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Isaiah 49:3, 5-6
Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-10
1 Corinthians 1:1-3
John 1:29-34

God, the Creator of all things, is so full of mercy and compassion that whatever may be the grace for which we stretch out our hands, we shall not fail to receive it.

-- St Bernard


20 posted on 01/18/2014 9:18:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

21 posted on 01/18/2014 9:20:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


22 posted on 01/18/2014 9:22:00 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: St. Canute IV

Feast Day: January 19

Born: 1043, Denmark

Died: July 10, 1086, Odense

Canonized: 1101

Major Shrine: Saint Canute's Cathedral, Odense

Patron of: Denmark

23 posted on 01/19/2014 9:47:28 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Canute


Feast Day: January 19
Died: 1086

St. Canute was a strong, wise king of Denmark and was called Knud IV. He was a great athlete, an expert horseman, and a marvelous general. He married Adela, sister of Count Roberts of Flanders.

At the beginning of his reign, he led a war against the barbarians and his army defeated them. He loved the Christian faith so much that he introduced it to people who had never heard of Christianity. Through his kingdom, he spread the gospel, built churches and supported missionaries.

St. Canute knelt in church at the foot of the altar and offered his crown to the King of kings, Jesus. King Canute was very charitable and gentle with his people. He tried to help them with their problems. Most of all, he wanted to help them be true followers of Jesus.

But trouble started in his kingdom because of the laws he had made about supporting the Church and he fled to the Island of Fünen. Then one day some angry people went to the church of Saint Alban where Canute and some of his followers were praying. He knew they had come to harm him.

While his enemies were still outside, King Canute received the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion. He felt compassion for those who were upset enough to kill him. With all his heart he forgave his enemies.

Then, as he prayed, a spear was thrown through a window and he was killed. It was July 10, 1086.

St. Canute tried to be a good king so he could thank Jesus for all the blessings he had received. We, too, should thank God every day and offer him a crown made up of good deeds.


24 posted on 01/19/2014 9:51:27 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Sunday, January 19

Liturgical Color: Green

January is dedicated to the Holy Name
of Jesus. The Litany of the Holy Name of
Jesus can be traced back at least to the
1400’s. The Litany invokes various titles
of Jesus, praising Him as our God and
Savior.

25 posted on 01/19/2014 1:55:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
John
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  John 1
29 The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him, and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world. Altera die vidit Joannes Jesum venientem ad se, et ait : Ecce agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccatum mundi. τη επαυριον βλεπει [ο ιωαννης] τον ιησουν ερχομενον προς αυτον και λεγει ιδε ο αμνος του θεου ο αιρων την αμαρτιαν του κοσμου
30 This is he, of whom I said: After me there cometh a man, who is preferred before me: because he was before me. Hic est de quo dixi : Post me venit vir qui ante me factus est : quia prior me erat : ουτος εστιν περι ου εγω ειπον οπισω μου ερχεται ανηρ ος εμπροσθεν μου γεγονεν οτι πρωτος μου ην
31 And I knew him not, but that he may be made manifest in Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. et ego nesciebam eum, sed ut manifestetur in Israël, propterea veni ego in aqua baptizans. καγω ουκ ηδειν αυτον αλλ ινα φανερωθη τω ισραηλ δια τουτο ηλθον εγω εν τω υδατι βαπτιζων
32 And John gave testimony, saying: I saw the Spirit coming down, as a dove from heaven, and he remained upon him. Et testimonium perhibuit Joannes, dicens : Quia vidi Spiritum descendentem quasi columbam de cælo, et mansit super eum. και εμαρτυρησεν ιωαννης λεγων οτι τεθεαμαι το πνευμα καταβαινον ωσει περιστεραν εξ ουρανου και εμεινεν επ αυτον
33 And I knew him not; but he who sent me to baptize with water, said to me: He upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining upon him, he it is that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. Et ego nesciebam eum : sed qui misit me baptizare in aqua, ille mihi dixit : Super quem videris Spiritum descendentem, et manentem super eum, hic est qui baptizat in Spiritu Sancto. καγω ουκ ηδειν αυτον αλλ ο πεμψας με βαπτιζειν εν υδατι εκεινος μοι ειπεν εφ ον αν ιδης το πνευμα καταβαινον και μενον επ αυτον ουτος εστιν ο βαπτιζων εν πνευματι αγιω
34 And I saw, and I gave testimony, that this is the Son of God. Et ego vidi : et testimonium perhibui quia hic est Filius Dei. καγω εωρακα και μεμαρτυρηκα οτι ουτος εστιν ο υιος του θεου

26 posted on 01/19/2014 1:57:59 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
29. The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
30. This is he of whom I said, After me comes a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
31. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

ORIGEN; After this testimony, Jesus is seen coming to John, not only persevering in his confession, but also advanced in goodness: as is intimated by the second day. Wherefore it is said, The next day John sees Jesus coming to him. Long before this, the Mother of Jesus, as soon as she had conceived Him, went to see the mother of John then pregnant; and as soon as the sound of Mary's salutation reached the ears of Elisabeth, John leaped in the womb: but now the Baptist himself after his testimony sees Jesus coming. Men are first prepared by hearing from others, and then see with their own eyes. The example of Mary going to see Elisabeth her interior, and the Son of God going to see the Baptist, should teach us modesty and fervent charity to our inferiors. What place the Savior came from when He came to the Baptist we are not told here; but we find it in Matthew, Then comes Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John to be baptized of him.

CHRYS. Or; Matthew relates directly Christ's coming to His baptism, John His coming a second time subsequent to His baptism, as appears from what follows: I saw the Spirit descending, &c. The Evangelists have divided the periods of the history between them; Matthew passing over the part before John's imprisonment, and hastening to that event; John chiefly dwelling on what took place before the imprisonment. Thus he says, The next day John sees Jesus coming to him. But why did He come to him the next day after His baptism? Having been baptized with the multitude, He wished to prevent any from thinking that He came to John for the same reason that others did, viz. to confess His sins, and be washed in the river to repentance.

He comes therefore to give John an opportunity of correcting this mistake; which John accordingly did correct; viz. by those words, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. For He Who was so pure, as to be able to absolve other men's sins, evidently could not have come thither for the sake of confessing His own; but only to give John an opportunity of speaking of Him. He came too the next day, that those who had heard the former testimonies of John, might hear them again more plainly; and other besides. For he said, Behold the Lamb of God, signifying that He was the one of old sought after, and reminding them of the prophecy of Isaiah, and of the shadows of the Mosaic law, in order that through the figure he might the easier lead them to the substance.

AUG. If the Lamb of God is innocent, and John is the lamb, must he not be innocent? But all men come of that stock of which David sings sorrowing, Behold, I was conceived in wickedness. He then alone was the Lamb, who was not thus conceived; for He was not conceived in wickedness, nor in sin did His mother bear Him in her womb, Whom a virgin conceived, a virgin brought forth, because that in faith she conceived, and in faith received.

ORIGEN; But whereas five kinds of animals are offered in the temple, three beasts of the field, a calf, a sheep, and a goat; and two fowls of the air, a turtle dove and a pigeon; and of the sheep kind three are introduced, the ram, the ewe, the lamb; of these three he mentions only the lamb; the lamb, as we know, being offered in the daily sacrifice, one in the morning, and one in the evening. But what other daily offering can there be, that can be meant to be offered by a reasonable nature, except the perfect Word, typically called the Lamb?

This sacrifice, which is offered up as soon as the soul begins to be enlightened, shall be accounted as a morning sacrifice, referring to the frequent exercise of the mind in divine things; for the soul cannot continually apply to the highest objects because of its union with an earthly and gross body. By this Word too, Which is Christ the Lamb, we shall be able to reason on many things, and shall in a manner attain to Him in the evening, while engaged with things of the body. But He Who offered the lamb for a sacrifice, was God hid in human form, the great Priest, He who said below, No man takes it (My life) from Me, but I lay it down of Myself: whence this name, the Lamb of God: for He carrying our sorrows, and taking away the sins of the whole world, has undergone death, as it were baptism. For God suffers no fault to pass uncorrected; but punishes it by the sharpest discipline.

THEOPHYL. He is called the Lamb of God, because God the Father accepted His death for our salvation, or, in other words, because He delivered Him up to death for our sakes. For just as we say, This is the offering of such a man, meaning the offering made by him; in the same sense Christ is called the Lamb of God Who gave His Son to die for our salvation. And whereas that typical lamb did not take away any man's sin, this one has taken away the sin of the whole world, rescuing it from the danger it was in from the wrath of God.

Behold Him Who takes away the sin of the world: he said not, who will take, but, Who takes away the sin of the world; as if He were always doing this. For He did not then only take it away when He suffered, but from that time to the present, He takes it away; not by being always crucified, for He made one sacrifice for sins, but by ever washing it by means of that sacrifice.

GREG. But then only will sin be entirely taken away from the human race, when our corruption has been turned to a glorious incorruption. We cannot be free from sin, so long as we are held in the death of the body.

THEOPHYL. Why does he say the sin of the world, not sins? Because he wished to express sin universally: just as we say commonly, that man was cast out of paradise; meaning the whole human race.

GLOSS; Or by the sin of the world is meant original sin, which is common to the whole world: which original sin, as well as the sins of every one individually, Christ by His grace remits.

AUG. For He Who took not sin from our nature, He it is Who takes away our sin. Some say, We take away the sins of men, because we are holy; for if he, who baptizes, is not holy, how can he take away the other's sin, seeing he himself is full of sin? Against these reasoners let us point to the text; Behold Him Who takes away the sin of the world; in order to do away with such presumption in man towards man.

ORIGEN; As there was a connection between the other sacrifices of the law, and the daily sacrifice of the lamb, in the same way the sacrifice of this Lamb has its reflection in the pouring out of the blood of the Martyrs, by whose patience, confession, and zeal for goodness, the machinations of the ungodly are frustrated.

THEOPHYL. John having said above to those who came from the Pharisees, that there stood one among them whom they knew not, he here points Him out to the persons thus ignorant: This is He of whom I said, After me comes a man which is preferred before me. Our Lord is called a man, in reference to His mature age, being thirty years old when He was baptized: or in a spiritual sense, as the Spouse of the Church; in which sense St. Paul speaks, I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

AUG. He comes after me, because he was born after me: He is made before me, because He is preferred to me.

GREG. He explains the reason of this superiority, in what follows: For He was before me; as if his meaning was; And this is the reason of His being superior to me, though born after me, viz. that He is not circumscribed by the time of His nativity. He Who was born of His mother in time, was begotten of His Father out of time.

THEOPHYL. Attend, O Arius. He said not, He was created before me, but He was before me. Let the false sect of Paul of Samosata attend. They will see that He did not derive His original existence from Mary; for if He derived the beginning of His being from the Virgin, how could He have been before His precursor? it being evident that the precursor preceded Christ by six months, according to the human birth.

CHRYS. That He might not seem however to give His testimony from any motive of friendship or kindred, in consequence of his being related to our Lord according to the flesh, he says, I knew Him not. John could not of course know Him, having lived in the desert. And the miraculous events of Christ's childhood, the journey of the Magi, and such like, were now a long time past; John having been quite an infant, when they happened. And throughout the whole of the interval, He had been absolutely unknown: insomuch that John proceeds, But that He should, be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. (And hence it is clear that the miracles said to have been performed by Christ in His childhood, are false and fictitious.

For if Jesus had performed miracles at this early age, he would not have been unknown to John, nor would the multitude have wanted a teacher to point Him out.) Christ Himself then did not want baptism; nor was that washing for any other reason, than to give a sign beforehand of faith in Christ. For John said not, in order to change men, and deliver from sin, but, that he should be made manifest in Israel, have I come baptizing. But would it not have been lawful for him to preach, and bring crowds together, without baptizing? Yes: but this was the easier way, for he would not have collected such numbers, had he preached without baptizing.

AUG. Now when our Lord became known, it was unnecessary to prepare a way for Him; for to those who knew Him, He became His own way. And therefore John's baptism did not last long, but only so long as to show our Lord's humility. Our Lord received baptism from a servant, in order to give us such a lesson of humility as might prepare us for receiving the grace of baptism, And that the servant's baptism might not be set before the Lord's, others were baptized with it; who after receiving it, had to receive our Lord's baptism: whereas those who first received our Lord's baptism, did not receive the servant's after.

32. And John bore record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptize with the Holy Ghost.
34. And I saw, and bore record that this is the Son of God.

CHRYS. John having made a declaration, so astonishing to all his hearers, viz. that He, whom he pointed out, did of Himself take away the sins of the world, confirms it by a reference to the Father and the Holy Spirit. For John might be asked, how did you know Him? Wherefore he replies beforehand, by the descent of the Holy Spirit: And John bore record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

AUG. This was not however the first occasion of Christ's receiving the unction of the Holy Spirit: viz. Its descent upon Him at His baptism; herein He condescended to prefigure His body, the Church, wherein those who are baptized receive preeminently the Holy Spirit. For it would be absurd to suppose that at thirty years old, (which was His age, when He was baptized by John,) He received for the first time the Holy Spirit: and that, when He came to that baptism, as He was without sin, so was He without the Holy Spirit. For if even of His servant and forerunner John it is written, He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from His mother's womb; if He, though sprung from His father's seed, yet received the Holy Ghost, when as yet He was only formed in the womb; what ought we to think and believe of Christ, whose very flesh had not a carnal but spiritual conception?

AUG. We do not attribute to Christ only the possession of a real body, and say that the Holy Spirit assumed a false appearance to men's eyes: for the Holy Spirit could no more, in consistency with His nature, deceive men, than could the Son of God. The Almighty God, Who made every creature out of nothing, could as easily form a real body of a dove, without the instrumentality of other doves, as He made a real body in the womb of the Virgin, without the seed of the male.

AUG. The Holy Ghost was made to appear visibly in two ways: as a dove, upon our Lord at His baptism; and as a flame upon His disciples, when they were met together: the former shape denoting simplicity, the latter fervency. The dove intimates that souls sanctified by the Spirit should have no guile; the fire, that in that simplicity there should not be coldness. Nor let it disturb you, that the tongues are cloven; fear no division; unity is assured to us in the dove. It was meet then that the Holy Spirit should be thus manifested descending upon our Lord; in order that every one who had the Spirit might know, that he ought to be simple as a dove, and be in sincere peace with the brethren. The kisses of doves represent this peace. Ravens kiss, but they tear also; but the nature of the dove is most alien to tearing. Ravens feed on the dead, but the dove eats nothing but the fruits of the earth. If doves moan in their love, marvel not that He Who appeared in the likeness of a dove, the Holy Spirit, makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered. The Holy Spirit however groans not in Himself, but in us: He makes us to groan. And he who groans, as knowing that, so long as He is under the burden of this mortality, he is absent from the Lord, groans well: it is the Spirit that has taught him to groan. But many groan because of earthly calamities; because of losses which disquiet them, or bodily sickness which weigh heavily on them: they groan not, as does the dove. What then could more fitly represent the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of unity, than the dove? as He said Himself to His reconciled Church, My dove is one. What could better express humility, than the simplicity and moaning of a dove? Wherefore on this occasion it was that there appeared the very most Holy Trinity, the Father in the voice which said, You are My beloved Son; the Holy Spirit in the likeness of the dove. In that Trinity the Apostles were sent to baptize, i.e. in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

GREG. He said, Abode upon Him: for the Holy Spirit visits all the faithful; but on the Mediator alone does He abide for ever in a peculiar manner; never leaving the Son's Humanity, even as He proceeds Himself from the Son's Divinity. But when the disciples are told of the same Spirit, He shall dwell with you, how is the abiding of the Spirit a peculiar sign of Christ? This will appear if we distinguish between the different gifts of the Spirit. As regards those gifts which are necessary for attaining to life, the Holy Spirit ever abides in all the elect; such are gentleness, humility, faith, hope, charity: but with respect to those, which have for their object, not our own salvation, but that of others, he does not always abide, but sometimes withdraws, and ceases to exhibit them; that men may be more humble in the possession of His gifts. But Christ had all the gifts of the Spirit, uninterruptedly always.

CHRYS. Should any however think that Christ really wanted the Holy Spirit, in the way that we do, he corrects this notion also, by informing us that the descent of the Holy Ghost took place only for the purpose of manifesting Christ: And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said to me, Upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizes with the Holy Ghost.

AUG. But who sent John? If we say the Father, we say true; if we say the Son, we say true. But it would be truer to say, the Father and the Son. How then knew he not Him, by Whom he was sent? For if he knew not Him, by Whom he wished to be baptized, it was rash in him to say, I have need to be baptized by You. So then he knew Him; and why said he, I knew Him not?

CHRYS. When he said, I knew Him not, he is speaking of time past, not of the time of his baptism, when he forbade Him, saying, I have need to be baptized of You.

AUG. Let us turn to the other Evangelists, who relate the matter more clearly, and we shall find most satisfactorily, that the dove descended when our Lord ascended from the water. If then the dove descended after baptism, but John said before the baptism, I have need to be baptized of You, he knew Him before His baptism also. How then said he, I knew him not, but He which sent me to baptize? Was this the first revelation made to John of Christ's person, or was it not rather a fuller disclosure of what had been already revealed? John knew the Lord to be the Son of God, knew that He would baptize with the Holy Ghost: for before Christ came to the river, many having come together to hear John, he said unto them, He that comes after me is mightier than I: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. What then? He did not know that our Lord (lest Paul or Peter might say, my baptism, as we find Paul did say, my Gospel,) would have and retain to Himself the power of baptism, the ministering of it however passing to good and bad indiscriminately. What hindrance is the badness of the minister, when the Lord is good? So then we baptize again after John's baptism; after a homicide's we baptize not: because John gave his own baptism, the homicide gives Christ's; which is so holy a sacrament, that not even a homicide's ministration can pollute it. Our Lord could, had He so willed, have given power to any servant of His to give baptism as it were in His own stead; and to the baptism, thus transferred to the servant, have imparted the same power, that it would have had, when given by Himself. But this He did not choose to do; that the hope of the baptized might be directed to Him, Who had baptized them; He wished not the servant to place hope in the servant. And again, had He given this power to servants, there would have been as many baptisms as servants; as there had been the baptism of John, so should we have had the baptism of Paul and of Peter. It is by this power then, which Christ retains in His own possession exclusively, that the unity of the Church is established; of which it is said, My dove is one. A man may have a baptism besides the dove; but that any besides the dove should profit, is impossible.

CHRYS. The Father having sent forth a voice proclaiming the Son, the Holy Spirit came besides, bringing the voice upon the head of Christ, in order that no one present might think that what was said of Christ, was said of John. But it will be asked: How was it that the Jews believed not, if they saw the Spirit? Such sights however require the mental vision, rather than the bodily. If those who saw Christ working miracles were so drunken with malice, that they denied what their own eyes had seen, how could the appearance of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove overcome their incredulity?

Some say however that the sight was not visible to all, but only to John, and the more devotional part. But even if the descent of the Spirit, as a dove, was visible to the outward eye, it does not follow that because all saw it, all understood it. Zacharias himself, Daniel, Ezechiel, and Moses saw many things, appealing to their senses, which no one else saw: and therefore John adds, And I saw and bore record that this is the Son of God. He had called Him the Lamb before, and said that He would baptize with the Spirit; but he had no where called Him the Son before.

AUG. It was necessary that the Only Son of God should baptize, not an adopted son. Adopted sons are ministers of the Only Son: but though they have the ministration, the Only one alone has the power.

Catena Aurea John 1


St. John the Forerunner of the Lord

27 posted on 01/19/2014 1:58:41 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for:January 19, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: 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.

RECIPES

o    Bride's Cake I

o    Bride's Cake II

o    How to Cut a Four-Tiered Cake

o    Italian Wedding Cookies

o    Kourambiedhes Wedding Cakes

ACTIVITIES

o    Attending a Catholic Wedding

PRAYERS

o    Married Couple's Prayer to the Sacred Heart

o    Book of Blessings: Orders for the Blessing of a Married Couple

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Ordinary Time (2nd Plan)

LIBRARY

o    Christian Marriage: a Covenant of Love and Life | Cardinal Bernard Law

·         Ordinary Time: January 19th

·         Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: Second Sunday after Epiphany

The next day he 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 the sky 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 (Jn 1:29-34)."

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah 49:3, 5-6 and is the second of the "suffering servant" prophecies, found in Isaiah. These were prophecies uttered during the Babylonian exile to encourage the Jewish exiles to persevere in their trust in Yahweh, who would soon liberate them from Babylon, and eventually send them the long-expected Messiah, promised to Abraham.

The second reading is from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 1:1-3. The opening verses of this letter have been chosen for the reading because they show the prophecy, read in the first lesson, as fulfilled among the pagans, as well as emphasizing the purpose of the Messiah's coming: the sanctification and true enlightenment of all nations.

The Gospel is from St. John 1:29-34. The pages of the Gospel present John the Baptist as a symbolic example of a ‘bridegroom’s friend’, as Christ’s excellent and exemplary witness. The Baptist’s pre-eminent witness was affirmed in two ways: firstly with regard to the content of his testimony and secondly with respect to its style.

With regard to the content of his testimony, the Baptist identified Jesus as ‘the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world’ (Jn 1:29). Anticipating Jesus’ messianic and salvific role, each of the four evangelists start their Gospels with the Baptist’s words. The Lamb refers to the idea of salvation. The Lamb is the gift of liberation that, following the flight from Egypt, the Israelites sacrificed to the Lord. The Lamb recalls the servant of the Lord, the messianic image described by the Prophet Isaiah, ‘like a lamb led to the slaughter-house, like a sheep dumb before its shearers’ (Is 53:7). The Lamb recalls the image of the Victorious Lamb in the Book of the Apocalypse who at the end of time will definitively destroy evil and sin. John the Baptist is therefore, an authoritative witness who knew Jesus’ exact identity and why He came amongst men.

With regard to John the Baptist’s style, St John’s Gospel (cfr Jn 3:28-29) presents St John the Baptist through the image of the ‘bridegroom’s friend’. He gives witness, yet is not positioned central to the events that are unfolding. His testimony is totally centralised on Christ. John indicates the presence of the Lord and then steps into the margins. ‘I am not the Christ’ and he goes on to affirm ‘I am the one who has been sent to go in front of him. 'It is the bridegroom who has the bride; and yet the bridegroom's friend, who stands there and listens to him, is filled with joy at the bridegroom's voice. This is the joy I feel, and it is complete. He must grow greater, I must grow less.’(Jn 3:28-30)

Today’s Gospel offers us an eloquent example to imitate, so that we can also become Christ’s authoritative witnesses. A believer can only give an authoritative witness if it coexists in perfect harmony with two of the Baptist’s evangelical qualities. Firstly, knowledge of Christ that is cultivated through prayer, the sacramental and ecclesial life, reading good books and edifying friendships. Secondly, the constant attributes of a ‘bridegroom’s friend’ who goes in search of the Groom through the virtue of humility because always, in everyone’s life, Christ must increase and we must decrease!

From the Congregation for the Clergy


The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Day Two: Together... we give thanks for God’s grace in one another

Gratitude, in Deuteronomy, is a way of living life with a deep awareness of God’s presence within us and around us. It is the ability to recognize God’s grace active and alive in one another and in all people everywhere and to give God thanks. The joy that flows from this grace is so great that it embraces even "the aliens who reside among you".

Gratitude, in the ecumenical context, means being able to rejoice in the gifts of God’s grace present in other Christian communities, an attitude that opens the door to ecumenical sharing of gifts and to learning from one another.

All of life is a gift from God: from the moment of creation to the moment God became flesh in the life and work of Jesus, to this moment in which we are living. Let us thank God for the gifts of grace and truth given in Jesus Christ, and manifest in one another and our churches.

Vatican Resources


28 posted on 01/19/2014 2:51:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Word Among Us

Meditation: John 1:29-34

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

I did not know him. (John 1:33)

When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). How did John recognize Jesus? After all, he confessed that he didn’t know him before—or at least that he didn’t know that Jesus was the chosen Messiah. What happened?

John saw Jesus with the eyes of his heart. He could see who Jesus really was because the Holy Spirit revealed it to him. We might say that the Holy Spirit invited John to see and that John accepted the invitation.

Day after day, the Holy Spirit invites us to see Jesus as well. When we accept his invitation in prayer, we give the Spirit the freedom to open our eyes and our hearts. Our yes tells the Spirit, “Please show Jesus more clearly to me because I want to know him more. I want his presence, his power, and his mercy in my life.”

Isn’t it amazing how we can read so much into what we see with our physical eyes? This happens when an accountant reads a company’s balance sheet, when a doctor reads the results of a blood test, or when a father sees a confused look on his teenager’s face. Just as a doctor has been trained to know what to look for, so our minds can be formed to recognize spiritual realities. John was able to recognize Jesus in large part because he was committed to God and eager to do his will. His heart was soft, and his mind was alert.

Today, let’s be alert to God. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus each morning. Let’s pray as often as we can, persevere as much as we can, and stay as peaceful as we can all day long.St. Catherine of Siena learned to stay close to God by simply repeating: “God all, I nothing.” This was how she came into God’s presence and recognized him. May this be our disposition as well!

“Lord, open my eyes so that I can see you.”

Isaiah 49:3, 5-6; Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-10; 1 Corinthians 1:1-3

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Isaiah 49:3,5-6; Psalm 40:2,4,7-10; 1 Corinthians 1:1-3; John 1:29-34)

1. The first reading is the second of four “Servant of the Lord” oracles in Isaiah. The servant will be a restorer and “a light to the nations” so that the Lord’s “salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” We as Catholics are also called to be a light to others. How can you participate in the role of restoration by bringing Christ’s love and light to others? What about someone you know who has fallen away from the Church? How can you help to bring him back?

2. In the responsorial psalm, the psalmist says that “to do your will, O my God, is my delight. and your law is within my heart.” He fulfills this deep desire when he proclaims: “I announced your justice to the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, O Lord, know.” In what other ways did the psalmist do God’s will? How do you try to be sensitive and obedient to God’s will for your life? In what ways can you be even more sensitive and obedient?

3. The psalmist speaks of the Lord’s will as his “delight”. What parts of the Lord’s will for your life are a “delight” for you? What parts are not a “delight” for you, and what steps can you take to change this?

4. In the second reading, Paul addresses the members of the church at Corinth as those who “have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy”, which means “set apart” for the Lord. Do you see this as your call from the Lord as well? Why or why not? What do you see as the obstacles to this call and how can you overcome them?

5. The Gospel today speaks of being baptized with (immersed into) the Holy Spirit. How conscious are you during the day that the very life, power, and love of God dwell within you through the Holy Spirit? What are some steps you can take to open yourself even more to this truth, and be more sensitive to the leadings of the Spirit?

6. In the meditation, we hear these words regarding John the Baptist: “John saw Jesus with the eyes of his heart. He could see who Jesus really was because the Holy Spirit revealed it to him. We might say that the Holy Spirit invited John to see and that John accepted the invitation.” The meditation goes on to say these words: “Day after day, the Holy Spirit invites us to see Jesus as well. When we accept his invitation in prayer, we give the Spirit the freedom to open our eyes and our hearts. Our yes tells the Spirit, ‘Please show Jesus more clearly to me because I want to know him more. I want his presence, his power, and his mercy in my life.’” Why do you think our accepting this invitation of the Holy Spirit plays such an important role in our ability to “see” Jesus? What has been your response? Is there room for making a stronger response? How?

7. The meditation also quotes these words of St. Catherine of Siena: “God all, I nothing.” What do you think these words mean? How do they apply to you?

8. Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord for the grace to “see” him more clearly and in new ways. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.


29 posted on 01/19/2014 2:58:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Christian Pilgrim

THE LAMB OF GOD

18 Jan

THE LAMB OF GOD

(A biblical refection on THE 2nd ORDINARY SUNDAY (YEAR A) – 19 January 2014) 

Gospel Reading: John 1:29-34 

First Reading: Isaiah 49:3,5-6; Psalms: Psalm 40:2,4,7-10; Second Reading: 1Corinthians 1:1-3 

BAPTISAN YESUS - 1

The Scripture Text

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, for He was before me.’ I myself did not know Him; but for this I came baptizing with water, that He might be revealed to Israel.” And  John bore witness, “I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it  remained on Him. I myself did not  know Him; but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God”  (Jn 1:29-34 RSV). 

The Lamb of God. That what Jesus is called in today’s Gospel. The lamb as a gentle symbol would never be considered as a fitting logo for the mighty people of modern world. Imagine an American football team or a British rugby team being  called “The Lambs”. The hard-hitting players and avid fans prefer names like Lions, Tigers, Panthers, Bulls, etc. Isn’t it strange that God the Almighty would choose to be known as The Lamb? Does it not clarify for us the Lord’s understanding of real strength, and give us the deeper spiritual meaning of true power?

The Lamb symbol has a rich history and is intimately associated with some tremendous salvific events. The lamb was ceremonially eaten in Egypt on the eve of the Exodus. The lamb again was present on the Last Supper table, the night before Jesus suffered and died on the cross. It has often been shown in Church art as wounded yet triumphantly holding aloft a pennant-shaped victory flag. The Lamb has won the pennant. The animal that sacrifices its flesh, wool and skin is God’s victory sign.

LAMB OF GOD - 6

Its symbolism is not confined to the Jewish and Christian religions. The courageous Hindu, Mahatma Gandhi found the lamb image deeply significant of his concept of pacifism, which he preached as the only way to ultimate triumph.

Our religion overflows with paradoxes. So many of its teachings are exactly the opposite from what we would expect. Thus, we preach that the lamb is stronger than the lion. At each Mass we cry out the triumphant chant, not once but three times: “Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” By this we profess that humanity’s most admirable SERVANT walked through this world, showing us that gentleness is toughness.

We are invited to follow that same paradoxical tradition and find glory in our weaknesses. Saint Paul said it well: “I am content with weakness … for when I am powerless it is then that I am strong” (2Corinthians 12:10).

Whenever we try to act as a dominating master instead of a humble servant, we are ignoring the “lamb theology”. Jesus told us that church and civil authority are radically different. In the state, the leaders “lord it over” their subjects. But to His disciples, Jesus says, “It shall not be so among you, but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28). This is the essence of “servanthood” or “servant leadership”.

So it was that Jesus lived and preached, and although He was led to the slaughter and was as mute as a lamb before the shearer (Isaiah 53:7), He won a greater victory than anyone has ever done.

Prayer: Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us. Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world; have mercy on us. Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world: grant us peace. Amen.


30 posted on 01/19/2014 3:06:53 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Christian Pilgrim

THE LAMB OF GOD IS MORE THAN A NICKNAME

(A biblical refection on THE 2nd ORDINARY SUNDAY (YEAR A) – 19 January 2014) 

First Reading: Isaiah 49:3,5-6; Psalms: Psalm 40:2,4,7-10; Second Reading: 1Corinthians 1:1-3; Gospel Reading: John 1:29-34 

JESUS THE LAMB OF GOD

Today’s readings give us some biblical nicknames for Jesus.

In the first reading, Isaiah calls Him God’s Servant, and then proceeds to identify His mission. Through His Servant the Lord will show His glory, gather Israel back to Himself, and reveal His light to all the nations.

In the Gospel, John the Baptist dubs Jesus as the Lamb of God, and then he, too, goes on to describe the Savior’s mission. As the Lamb of God, Jesus will take away the sin of the world, baptize with the Holy Spirit and demonstrate that He is in fact God’s Chosen One.

In his Pelican commentary on this Gospel, John Marsh concludes that in this one word lamb, the evangelist had drawn together overtones of meaning from Old Testament prophecy, current Passover practices and the apocalyptic hopes of the times.

First, Old Testament prophecy. In Isaiah 53 the Servant is crushed for our sins and is led like a lamb to the slaughter. Nevertheless, because of his suffering he will take away the sins of many and win pardon for their offenses.

Second, current Passover practices. Every year the Jews re-enacted the Paschal story of Exodus 12. They slaughtered a year-old male lamb without blemish and sprinkled its blood on their doorposts. They then prayed that the Lord would pass over their homes as He destroyed their oppressors.

Third, the lamb in apocalyptic literature. In the book of Revelation the lamb is first slain as a victim for our redemption but then becomes a victorious conqueror who takes His seat upon God’s throne.

275px-Geertgen_Man_van_smarten

Now that we know where John the Baptist got his nickname for Jesus, so what? Let’s face it – the Lamb of God is not exactly a popular title suggesting strength, such as Richard the Lionhearted. But if we look more closely, we will see that the title Lamb of God does, in fact, stand for courage.

Although the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53 went in silence to his sacrifice, he also went in strength and by his own choice. As followers of Jesus, can we take up our cross freely, with dignity, and in strength?

The paschal lamb was a means of liberation for God’s Chosen People from the oppression of Egypt. To be a disciple of the Lamb implies that we accept the challenges of liberation – whether from economic injustice or racial bigotry.

The Lamb of the Book of Revelation is a conquering Lamb – a Lamb who makes war on poverty and hunger, and who battles against immorality and corruption. We witness to the Lamb every time we fight for human rights, stand up for decency and protest incompetence in government.

The Lamb of God is more that a nickname. It is a challenge for us to keep on taking away the sins of the world so that it can truly be baptized with the Holy Spirit. 

Source: Fr. Albert Cylwicki CSB, HIS WORD RESOUNDS, Makati, Philippines: St. Paul Publications, 1991, pages 45-47.

31 posted on 01/19/2014 3:10:38 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Marriage=One Man and One Woman 'Til Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for January 19, 2014:

Sunday “Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.” (Ps 40:8a, 9a) When’s the last time you and your spouse have prayed together to know God’s will for your family? Spend time today asking the Lord what more he has to teach you. Pray to be always ready to do His will.

32 posted on 01/19/2014 4:11:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Scripture Study

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle A

January 19, 2014

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Isaiah 49:3,5-6

Psalm: 40:2,4,7-10

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:1-3

Gospel Reading: John 1:29-34

 

QUESTIONS:

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 523, 536, 608, 719

 

The Holy Eucharist is the perfect expression of the love of Jesus Christ for man, since It is the quintessence of all the mysteries of His Life. -St. Peter Julian Eymard

33 posted on 01/19/2014 4:20:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Behold the Lamb of God!



Pastor’s Column

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 19, 2014

 

“Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29

 

Why is Jesus called the “Lamb of God?” Echoing these words of John the Baptist, we hear this phrase at every mass: “Behold the Lamb of God! Behold him who takes away the sins of the world!”

One way to understand the meaning of this title is by looking at the Jewish feast of the atonement. In ancient Israel, a lamb or goat was sent out into the desert to die, while another was sacrificed on the altar in front of the temple.

This goat, turned loose in the desert, symbolically carries the sins of the nation away. This is where the term “scapegoat” comes from.

Jesus, the Lamb of God, is our scapegoat. The Jews were expecting a Messiah who would come and conquer like a lion and vanquish their enemies. What they received instead was a “lamb” that was slain in what appeared to be utter powerlessness. Jesus took the path of weakness and this was his strength.

In just the same way, Jesus comes among us at mass, disguised as bread, disguised as something to be broken and even to be eaten! “Behold the Lamb of God!” Jesus often disguises himself in our lives. We don’t recognize him at times because he appears, not as a lion, but as a lamb. He comes to us particularly in our weaknesses, our trials, our fears, our crises and especially to forgive us when we have sinned and ask for his mercy.

He is often closest to us when we are most vulnerable, precisely because in his life on earth he chose weakness – even death on a cross out of love for us. He wants us to be able to approach him in any need and wants us to know that he loves us no matter what the circumstances of our lives may be. Nothing can put him off except a soul which refuses him entrance by turning away from his mercy.

Let us pray that we may recognize Christ, our Lamb of God, in his many disguises: the Lamb of God may come to me today as a person in need whom I can help; the Lord will appear in an act of kindness done to me or that I’ve done for others; he will appear whenever I make a sacrifice for someone that is selfless; he will be there when I accept a cross that I am given without complaint; and of course, he will be present especially under the appearance of bread and wine in the Eucharist.

“Behold the Lamb of God!”

                                                Father Gary


34 posted on 01/19/2014 4:32:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Reflections from Scott Hahn

Perfect Offering: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 01.17.14 |



Readings:
Isaiah 49:3,5-6
Psalm 40:2,4,7-10
1 Corinthians 1:1-3
John 1:29-34

Jesus speaks through the prophet Isaiah in today’s First Reading.

He tells us of the mission given to Him by the Father from the womb: “‘You are My servant,’ He said to Me.”

Servant and Son, our Lord was sent to lead a new exodus - to raise up the exiled tribes of Israel, to gather and restore them to God. More than that, He was to be a light to the nations, that God’s salvation may reach to the ends of the earth (see Acts 13:46-47).

Before the first exodus, a lamb was offered in sacrifice and its blood painted on the Israelites’ door posts. The blood of the lamb identified their homes and the Lord “passed over” these in executing judgment on the Egyptians (see Exodus 12:1-23,27).

In the new exodus, Jesus is the “Lamb of God,” as John beholds Him in the Gospel today (see 1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19). Our Lord sings of this in today’s Psalm. He has come, He says, to offer His body to do the will of God (see Hebrews 10:3-13).

The sacrifices, oblations, holocausts, and sin-offerings given after the first exodus had no power to take away sins (see Hebrews 10:4). They were meant not to save but to teach (see Galatians 3:24). In offering these sacrifices, the people were to learn self-sacrifice - that they were made for worship, to offer themselves freely to God and to delight in His will.

Only Jesus could make that perfect offering of himself. And through His sacrifice, He has given us ears open to obedience, made it possible for us to hear the Father’s call to holiness, as Paul says in today’s Epistle.

He has made us children of God, baptized in the blood of the Lamb (see Revelation 7:14). And we are to join our sacrifice to His, to offer our bodies - our lives - as living sacrifices in the spiritual worship of the Mass (see Romans 12:1).


35 posted on 01/19/2014 4:39:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday, The Lamb of God

 

 




Again this Sunday we hear the voice of John the Baptist. Yet, it is not the clarion call from the desert to repent but rather a specific reference to the one who was baptized by John, Jesus.  It indicates a confusion among the early Christians as to who exactly was to be followed - John or Jesus - and as John points to Jesus he reinforces the prevailing truth: "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one . . ." (Jn 1: 29-30).

Living so many centuries later with the benefit of revelation, a developed theology, and a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, we might find this obvious about Jesus.  But, do we really?  If John points the way for those of his time, he does the same for us.  What is our response? "Yes, I know that already," then go on about our business?  Is this just information about Jesus that we've heard many times before or is it a call to deeper conversion of my life?

The Word for Sunday: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/011914.cfm 


I found this meditation recently and thought I would share it with you in preparing for this coming Sunday:

The Lamb of God

 

In front of the power and armies of Caesar,

in front of their mighty weapons,

stands a lamb, the lamb of God.

What can this lamb do?

The lamb will break down the walls of fear, of aggression,

of violence, of sin

which imprison people in themselves

and incite them to seek their own glory.

 

He will liberate in each person a new life of communion with God,

with other people and with what is deepest in the self,

sowing seeds for universal peace.

 

In our world today there are some prophets like John the Baptizer

who are spectacular.

They prepare our hearts to receive Jesus.

but when Jesus comes, he comes not as a spectacular God of power,

but as a gentle lamb, the Chosen One of God, the Beloved.

 

He comes in a very simple way, opening our hearts to people 

with the breath of peace and a quiet shaft of light, a gentle kiss.

He comes into that part of our being that is our treasure,

that sacred space within us,

hidden under all the fears, walls and anger in us

so that we may grow in the spirit of love.

 

Yesterday, as today, John the Baptizer is calling people to be attentive

to the quiet voice and presence of Jesus,

calling us to trust him

and to enter into friendship with him.

We are being called to be gentle followers of the Lamb,

not people of power.

 

(Jean Vanier, Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John)


36 posted on 01/19/2014 4:51:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Insight Scoop

The Lamb of God and the Salvation of the World

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, January 19, 2014 | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Is 49:3, 5-6
• Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10
• 1 Cor 1:1-3
• Jn 1:29-34

Taken as a whole, today’s readings can, I think, be summarized in a single sentence: The Son of God became a servant so that by becoming a sacrifice he would be the Savior of mankind.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these names and titles, beginning with the final statement from today’s Gospel, a declaration uttered by John the Baptist at the Jordan River: “Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.” This testimony to the identity of Jesus is a key theme in the Gospel of John, as indicated in the Evangelist’s theological commentary following Jesus’ discourse to Nicodemus: “He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (Jn 3:18).

And, at the close of his Gospel, the Apostle John explains that his testimony was written so “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name” (Jn 20:31). We cannot begin to understand fully the servanthood and the sacrifice of Jesus without first recognizing that he is the Son of God.

The Old Testament contains a number of prophetic passages about a coming servant of the Lord who would establish God’s reign and being peace to Israel. Isaiah has several “servant songs”, the most famous being found in chapters 52 and 53 (and read during Holy Week). The servant song in chapter 49 closely aligns the servant with Israel, which highlights the fact that salvation, as Jesus told the Samaritan woman, is from the Jews (Jn 4:22).

But the servant emerges from Israel; he is a man with a singular identity and possessing unique qualities, through whom salvation will come not only to Israel but to all men: “I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” The season of Christmas, of course, focuses on the remarkable and radical fact that the Son became a servant, leaving the glory of heaven to dwell among men.

The eternal Word, in becoming man, willingly became a servant and embraced the work of sacrifice set before him. “From the beginning of his public life,” the Catechism states, “at his baptism, Jesus is the ‘Servant’, wholly consecrated to the redemptive work that he will accomplish by the ‘baptism’ of his Passion” (par 565). One can only imagine the shock caused by John the Baptist’s emphatic exclamation, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

Under the Law, there were several animals that were sacrificed at various times for the sins of the people; these included bulls, goats, pigeons, doves, and sheep (cf. Lev. 12:6). And among sheep there were three types: rams, ewes, and lambs. Why was Jesus identified as the “Lamb of God”? “It is the lamb,” answered Origen to this question, “that we find offered in the perpetual sacrifices [cf. Ex 29:38].” In addition, it points back to the blood of the unblemished Passover lambs that liberated the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt (Ex. 12).

The Cross is at the heart of the New Exodus, an act of humility, sacrifice, and love liberating man from the power of sin and death. Those who do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God look upon the Cross and see failure and shame. But those who know that Jesus is the Lamb of God see love and grace, what Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger describes as the moment “when God transforms this external violence against him into an act of self-donation to mankind.”

Those who see the Savior on the Cross and become united to him through baptism are, in the words of the Apostle Paul, those “who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy…” They are called, by grace, to be sons and daughters of God.

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the January 16, 2011 edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


37 posted on 01/19/2014 4:56:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Regnum Christi

“Behold the Lamb of God!”
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time



Father Walter Schu, LC

John 1:29-34

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, "Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ´After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.´ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel." And John testified, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ´He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.´ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God."

Introductory Prayer: Jesus, thank you for this opportunity to be with you, my Lord and my God. You always seek me first. Even my desire to encounter you is a fruit of your love for me, of the action of your grace in my heart. I trust that this day will be filled with the graces I need to respond generously to your call to holiness and to be your apostle.

Petition: Lord, help me to be a witness to you with the same courage, humility, and openness to the Holy Spirit as John the Baptist.

1. John “Saw Jesus Coming Toward Him.” -  Jesus is always coming toward us, too. Why? Because he loves us. He never imposes himself. He doesn’t burst through the door and force us to accept him or even acknowledge him. But he does remain close, hoping we will catch a glimpse of his love and, in that instant, recognize that he is everything our hearts long for. What will happen if we open the door of our life, of our heart, to Christ? He will call us to abandon the tight confines of our egotism, greed, lust, envy, and selfishness. He will open undreamed-of horizons and give a rich, new dimension to our poor, fleeting days on this earth. He will bestow on us a transcendent mission: to testify to him not only with our words, but with everything that we are.

2. John Testifies to “the Lamb of God.”  - As John the Baptist sees Jesus coming toward him, he proclaims: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John’s title for Jesus is rich in meaning. Fifteen hundred years before Christ, during the exile in Egypt, the blood of the paschal lamb spread on the Israelites’ doorposts saved their families from the angel of death, who slaughtered the first-born of the Egyptians. As a result, Moses was able to lead the chosen people to the Promised Land. Christ is the true Lamb of God who offers himself in sacrifice to take away our sins and to open to us the Promised Land of heaven. John’s testimony requires humility: His own disciples leave him to follow Jesus. Do I strive for this same humility? Do I put my testimony to Jesus above my own self-interest?

3. John Recognizes Jesus Through the Holy Spirit:  John’s testimony was so convincing that many of his own disciples became followers of Jesus. Yet John himself claimed that at first he did not know Jesus. What did he mean by this enigmatic phrase? As Jesus’ relative, John certainly knew who he was; however, the precise moment in which Jesus was to begin his Messianic mission remained unknown to John. It was only through the action of the Holy Spirit that John fully recognized Jesus as the Chosen One of God, who was now to be revealed to God’s chosen people. The Holy Spirit seeks to work with the same power in our own lives. What attachments to worldly interests still distract me from the Holy Spirit’s action? What fears still hold me back from letting him do with me whatever he pleases? Do I fully trust in him who is love itself?

Conversation with Christ: Thank you for always coming toward me, Lord. Thank you for your love for me. At times I don’t know what you see in me, Lord, but even in my weakness and sinfulness I want to return love with love. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, help my love for you to be bold and ardent.

Resolution: I will ask the Holy Spirit to help me openly bear witness to Christ during the day.


38 posted on 01/19/2014 5:02:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

The Atonement is a marvelous, stupendous thing! We will spend all eternity exploring the depths of God’s greatness and love as demonstrated by this sacrifice.


39 posted on 01/19/2014 5:03:11 PM PST by thecodont
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To: All

Scripture Speaks: No Ordinary Time

by Gayle Somers on January 17, 2014 ·

As we return to Ordinary Time, our Gospel already begins preparing us for the next great seasons of the liturgical calendar—Lent and Easter.  How?

Gospel (Read Jn 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.’”  We heard from the Baptist frequently during Advent, which is what we might expect in a liturgical season given to preparation for the coming of the Messiah.  Now that we are in the long season of Ordinary Time, which takes us through Jesus’ preaching of the Kingdom of God, why is John’s voice in our ears again?

When John the Baptist identifies Jesus as “the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world,” he both summarizes and anticipates the course of salvation history.  Going all the way back to the story of Abraham and Isaac on Mt. Moriah, we recall that God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son.  As bizarre as the request must have seemed, Abraham was willing to obey.  On the trek up the mountain, Isaac asked the heart-piercing question, “My father!  Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”  We can only imagine how difficult it was for Abraham to make his reply:  “God will provide Himself the lamb … , my son” (see Gn 22:7-8).  In their immediate situation, Abraham was prevented from sacrificing Isaac and was led, instead, to a ram caught by its head in a thicket—in other words, a lamb wearing a “crown” of thorns.

Later, when the Israelites were held in bondage in Egypt by a cruel Pharaoh, it was the slaughter of the Passover lambs and the liturgical meal of their bodies that freed them for their journey home to the Promised Land.  This historical event was so foundational in the Jews’ history that God commanded it to be celebrated every year without fail.  The lamb of sacrifice was an abiding reality for God’s covenant people.

After many years of life in the Promised Land and many years of willful disobedience by His people, God promised, through the prophet, Isaiah, that someday He would send His Servant to make right all that had gone wrong.  He would provide the Lamb Himself.  This Servant would accomplish His mission through suffering and death; He would be an innocent lamb slain for the sins of others (see Isa 53:7-12; CCC 608).

So, when John the Baptist sees Jesus approaching, he identifies Him as this long-awaited Lamb, and he makes explicit the purpose of His mission—to become a sacrifice that will take away the sin of the world.  John also alludes to the mysterious divinity of this Lamb:  “He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because He existed before me.’”  This Lamb is not like any other of God’s servants who have appeared throughout salvation history, including John himself.  No, this Lamb existed from before all time, and His appearance means that now sin can be forgiven and the human soul, in baptism, can be filled with the Holy Spirit.  This fulfills God’s original intention when He created man and woman:  “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness” (see Gn 1:26).  John, whom Jesus described as the greatest of all the prophets, gives his powerful witness to the start of Jesus’ public ministry, the preaching of the Kingdom of God, celebrated in Ordinary Time:  “Now, I have seen and testified that He is the Son of God.”

Then, let His preaching begin.

Possible response:  Lord Jesus, You came to give Yourself for me and all other sinners, the undeserving.  Thank You for this sacrifice and for the new life it means for us.

First Reading (Read Isa 49:3, 5-6)

God speaks through His prophet, Isaiah, to describe His Servant, Who will accomplish the mission of revealing His “glory.”  The Servant will do this by reconciling—bringing back to God—not only all the tribes of Israel but also the Gentiles:  “I will make You a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”  In the chapters following this passage, God says that His Servant will do His work through allowing Himself to be killed and making His death into an offering for sin.  Hundreds of years later, Jesus would appear in Mary’s womb and grow up to become this sacrifice.  His suffering would show forth God’s glory.  How?  To see Jesus accept His death willingly on our behalf is to behold the depths of God’s love for us.

“Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world.”

Possible response:  Heavenly Father, how hard it is sometimes to see how suffering can become a way to see Your glory, yet this is often how You reveal Yourself.  Please give me eyes that see.

Psalm (Read Ps 40:2, 4, 7-10)

This is a “new song” that, in a prophetic way, is the song Jesus, the Lamb of God, could sing in “the vast assembly” of God’s people.  It describes what God wants in His servant:  “Sacrifice or offering You wished not, but ears open to obedience You gave Me.  Holocausts or sin-offerings You sought not; then said I, ‘Behold, I come.’”  This means that the liturgical rites of Israel’s religion, performed without accompanying covenant obedience, were empty.  God’s Servant would embrace His will wholeheartedly:  “ … to do Your will, O My God, is My delight, and Your law is within My heart.”

As we are baptized into Jesus, by water and the Holy Spirit, we are those who can now also sing:  “Here am I, Lord; I come to do Your will.”

Possible response:  The psalm is, itself, a response to our other readings.  Read it again prayerfully to make it your own.

Second Reading (Read 1 Cor 1:1-3)

St. Paul writes to his Christian friends in Corinth in words that help us to see so clearly what the sacrifice of the Lamb of God has accomplished for all the baptized.  We have been “sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy, with all those everywhere who call upon the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.”  In His self-offering, the Suffering Servant has become a light to all the nations, just as Isaiah prophesied, reconciling the whole world to the Father through faith in Him.  What is the fruit of this faith?  St. Paul tells us that it is “grace and peace.”  Grace is God’s power in our lives to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves; peace is the gift that comes to us when we believe this.

“Behold, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world”—mine and yours.

Possible response:  Lord Jesus, “grace and peace” will make all the difference in my life this day.  Help me receive these gifts with gratitude.


40 posted on 01/19/2014 5:11:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

The Glory of Serving the Servant

by Dr. Mark Giszczak on January 17, 2014 ·

I sometimes wonder whether God recycles. That might sound weird, but people treat recycling like it’s a religious activity—as if you could earn brownie points from God by making sure your plastic bottle ends up in the blue trash can instead of the black one. Now I know that God doesn’t drink from plastic bottles or use newspapers, but he does have a partiality for recycling, or at least reusing.

January 19, 2014, Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. First Reading: Isaiah 49:3, 5-6

Restoration

In this Sunday’s Old Testament reading from Isaiah 49:3, 5-6, we find the Lord at it again. He is not inaugurating a brand new plan of salvation. Rather, he is sending out his servant on a mission of restoration. He wants to raise up and restore his people, to save them from their own disobedience, rather than to discard anyone. In fact, he wants the restoration of his people just to be the first phase in his salvation going to the ends of the earth.

Israel the Servant

This passage falls in the second “servant song” in Isaiah. Last week had an excerpt from the first of the servant songs, which are Isaiah 42:1-7; 49:1-13; 50:4-9; 52:13–53:12. The identity of the suffering servant in Isaiah is a little confusing. Here in 49:3, for example, the servant is called “Israel” but he is being sent by God to restore “Israel.” What’s going on? Well, it seems that the servant is being identified as a kind of “ideal Israel,” one who is really living out God’s covenantal calling on his people. The Lord is calling this servant, who embodies Israel in an ideal fashion, to restore his people to the land, to set up a new covenant (v. 8) and to call them back to covenant fidelity. In v. 6, this servant is supposed to bring back the people of Israel (or Jacob—remember that the nation’s namesake patriarch has two names), but where from? Well, the people have been exiled from the Holy Land for infidelity and the prophet is forecasting what their redemption will look like. Part of the redemption they long for is a restoration of the Land.

An Exchange of Glory

Before we get to the New Testament fulfillment of this passage, I want to point to three important themes in this passage. First, the Lord is glorified in his servant (v. 3) and makes his servant glorious (v. 5). This back-and-forth relationship of glory is an awesome way of depicting our relationship with God. He calls us to himself and is glorified in our service to him and to the least of the brethren. But on the other hand, he glorifies us and endows us with his strength to perform that service in the first place. It is a beautiful relationship of mutual love, service, and significance. Glory, after all, has to do with the “weight” or importance of a person. When we serve Him, the Lord increases the “weight” of glory upon us and we recognize the awesome “weight” of his glorious existence. The further we come into the light, the more deeply we are enlightened.

Proclamation and Servanthood

Second, the servant of the Lord has a mission of restoration and proclamation. The servant actually starts off the chapter with a resounding call, “Hear me, coastlands,/ listen, distant peoples.” His role is to re-gather the people of Israel, bring them back to the land, restore them to covenant fidelity. But also, he is called to be a “light to the nations/Gentiles” (v. 6), to release prisoners (v. 9) and to proclaim God’s comforting compassion (v. 13). This suffering servant has a big job!

Third, and perhaps most beautifully, if we understand this passage as fulfilled in Christ, then we recognize our own identity as “servants of the Servant.” We get to participate in his mission of restoration and proclamation, not for our own self-advancement, but for the sake of his glory. By acting as servants of the Servant we acknowledge our subservient role and embrace our own identity in him. It is very easy for us to get obsessed with our own success, but the heart of a servant does not focus on that. Instead, our role is to please the true Servant and his Father.

Re-Gathering Israel to Proclaim Light to the Gentiles

Ok, so how does Isaiah 49 find fulfillment in the life of Jesus and the New Testament? The Lord sends his Son, Jesus as a Jew, a member of his own people. He lives a life of purity and covenantal fidelity. His perfect obedience to the Father shows that Jesus himself is the “ideal Israel” that Isaiah forecasts. Jesus re-gathers Israel around himself—the 12 apostles mirror the 12 tribes—and prepares the people for a “new exodus.” This time, his people won’t merely be escaping from the foreign powers of Egypt or Babylon, but from the dominance of sin and death. Jesus is the one who comes to establish a new covenant (v. 8) and to restore the fortunes of God’s people (v.6). And beyond a mission of restoration, Jesus launches the proclamation of salvation to the Gentiles, to the ends of the earth (v. 6). In fact, the only quotation of this passage in the New Testament comes in Acts 13:47, where St. Paul cites Isaiah 49:6 to explain that he, as a Jew, is called to be “a light to the nations” by proclaiming the gospel of Christ to the Gentiles.

Jesus calls himself the “light of the world” (John 8:12, 9:5) and he calls his followers to be the same (Matt 5:14). As servants of the suffering servant, we too can join in Jesus’ mission of restoration and proclamation.

So does God recycle? Well, sort of. He certainly is concerned about fulfilling his promises to his people, restoring a relationship that has been damaged. He is the God of second chances, the God of repentance and mercy, the God who can bring good out of evil. Our hope rests in the fact that he sent his Son to open the way of salvation and extend his plan of mercy to the ends of the earth.


41 posted on 01/19/2014 5:18:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: thecodont

Amen!


42 posted on 01/19/2014 5:48:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 30, Issue 1

<< Sunday, January 19, 2014 >> 2nd Sunday Ordinary Time
 
Isaiah 49:3, 5-6
1 Corinthians 1:1-3

View Readings
Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-10
John 1:29-34

Similar Reflections
 

TITLE INSURANCE

 
"Look! There is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world." —John 1:29
 

The Holy Spirit inspired St. John to pack his Gospel with titles of Jesus. Praying and praising Jesus by speaking His titles and meditating upon them is insurance against taking Jesus for granted. It's a great way to deepen our relationship with Him.

Among other titles, John refers to Jesus as:

  • the Word of God (Jn 1:1) and Word-Made-Man (Jn 1:14),
  • "Lamb of God" (Jn 1:29),
  • God's "Chosen One" (Jn 1:34),
  • Rabbi, (and also Teacher) (Jn 1:38),
  • "the Messiah" (Jn 1:41),
  • Son of God and King of Israel (Jn 1:18, 49),
  • "the Son of Man" (Jn 1:51),
  • "the Bread of Life" (Jn 6:35, 48),
  • "Light of the World" (Jn 8:12),
  • "I AM" (Jn 8:28; see also Ex 3:14),
  • "Lord" (Jn 9:38),
  • "Good Shepherd" (Jn 10:11, 14),
  • "the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25),
  • "the Way, and the Truth, and the Life" (Jn 14:6),
  • "the Vine" (Jn 15:5),
  • "the King of the Jews" (Jn 19:19), and
  • "my Lord and my God!" (Jn 20:28)

There are many other Scriptural titles of Jesus. These titles combat deception and encourage truth. Praise Jesus by His titles.

 
Prayer: Jesus, Lamb of God, I worship You with my whole heart.
Promise: "I will make you a light to the nations, that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth." —Is 49:6
Praise: Praise Jesus, "the First and the Last and the One Who lives" (Rv 1:17-18).

43 posted on 01/19/2014 5:59:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Something for everyone to think about!

"A country which kills its own children has no future."

-Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

44 posted on 01/19/2014 6:14:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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