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The Savior Is Finally Here

First Reading: Isaiah 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: Psalm 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.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 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: John 1:29-34

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

NAB

Saint John the Baptist is such an interesting character—he’s intense yet straightforward, prophetic yet humble. He’s a bit hard to relate to if I’m being honest. Yet Christ was so vocal in His love for His cousin, and the importance of Saint John the Baptist to the entire Church that I want to take note of what he is saying today.

Today he is identifying, proclaiming, and testifying to the fact that Jesus is the Lamb of God. The Lamb of God. The Person who has come to offer Himself in sacrifice for our sins. And not only that, but Saint John is telling us that the Holy Spirit has descended upon this Lamb. These are revolutionary words. This is an incredible time in history, people were hearing something they had never heard before, something that had been foretold to them in the Scriptures.

Imagine hearing these words for the first time, imagine the prophecies you had heard your entire life being fulfilled in the coming of a Savior who would save you from your sins? That is what is happening in today’s Gospel, a first telling that the Savior is finally here, right now! I’m trying to let these words hit me anew today, I want to hear these glad tidings with fresh ears for a new year.

We too are being called to testify to Christ in our own lives today. There are people in our lives that have never heard that salvation waits for them in Jesus. There are people who are desperate and yearning for this miracle, to know who can satisfy their hunger, who can heal their addictions and wounds, who can give them truth in a world of chaos and confusion. We are called to be the prophet and apostle of Jesus to these people in our lives.

It may not come as a vocal proclamation like Saint John the Baptist, but it can be in little acts of kindness, barely noticeable acts of service, a listening ear, a smile. We need to proclaim Christ as Savior, this year more than ever with all the fervor and humility of Saint John the Baptist.

As we begin this new year, what are some ways that we can proclaim Jesus Christ with intention? Are there people in your life who simply need love? In what way would they best receive it? Come Holy Spirit, and give us the courage and grace to proclaim Christ like Saint John the Baptist.

photo credit

Christy Isinger is the mom to five lovely, loud children living in the Canadian wilds. You can find out more about her here.

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