This weekend is the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. The readings can be found here. The themes are on the nature of Christ and our call to grow closer to Christ and each other.
Today’s reflection is courtesy of friend of the blog, Fran Rossi Szpylczyn. Ms. Szpylczyn is a published author and operates the outstanding blog There Will Be Bread. However, this reflection comes from an article Ms. Szpylczyn published three years ago in the Albany Times Union. I encourage you to read the entire article here but set forth below is an extended summary:
[T]oday we encounter three readings that offer us some direction about who God is and who we are as well. It is important to consider that both elements are essential to living our faith. We spend a lot of time in general figuring out who God is but who we are and how we are holy matters. It matters a lot!
The first reading from Isaiah reminds us that not only is Isaiah prophesying Jesus but reminding us all that we are to be a light to the nations. Yes – we. You and me, us – the whole lot of humanity, if we but respond.
The responsorial psalm points us to what is required for all of this to happen, “here I am Lord, I come to do your will.” Oh that is easier said than done!
And then St. Paul in the beginning of his first letter to the Corinthians. What does Paul say? The Corinthians then – and us today – are to be holy. Holy is often thought of as pious, but what about holy as growing in Christ? What about holy as people becoming more and more who God loved into being?
John addresses us in the Gospel by reminding us how he recognized God in his midst in the person of Jesus. In some way John had to realize that Jesus was “the Lamb of God.” And he did so. It makes me wonder if I would be so open-eyed and open-minded to see God in my midst?
You see, recognizing God as God also requires some recognition of ourselves as the light. We are each the light of the nations. I was talking to someone yesterday about how this reminds me of many little candlelights coming together as one large bright vision. That would be something we would see at the Eater Vigil.
Seeing ourselves and each other as elements of God is hard, but it is true and it is who and what we are called to.
Which leads me at last back to St. Gregory of Nyssa and his words… If we refuse to keep growing, how can we grow closer to God and to one another? How can we be a light to the nations? If Isaiah, if St. Paul and if St. John all refused to grow, I guess we would not be having this conversation today, would we?
I don’t know but I do know how often I resist change and growth. And I do know that today I am invited into it anew, as I am each day by Christ our Lord.