Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
Isaiah 49: 3, 5-6
I Corinthians 1: 1-3
We have all probably have experienced good introductions and not so good introductions. The clumsy ones are when you stick out your hand and say your name and the other person does not stick out their hand nor say their name. Awkward! In looking up Miss Manners the rules of proper etiquette for introductions, she says there are four things that should always be done. The first is the most important and if you forget the other three, remember to do step one. Step one – Smile! Smile, and look interested in meeting the other person. Step two – Look the person in the eye’s or at least at their face. Don’t look down. Step three – If you are sitting you should always try and stand up to meet the person. Finally – Have something to say! The best thing is your name, and then follow that up and opened ended question to get the conversation going.
Our readings today all speak to us about being introduced to God. What would it be like to be introduced to Jesus Christ? Can we only imagine what this would be like?
In our Gospel, John the Baptist introduces the whole crowd to Jesus by saying, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” To all the Jewish people standing there, this statement would immediately bring those memories of the feast of Passover and their ancestors being freed from Egypt. What memories does it invoke in us? I will be saying these very same words, right after we exchange the sign of peace and before we receive communion. I will raise up, the chalice with the host above and say those same words. John then goes on to say, “Now that I have been introduced to him, I cannot stop talking about him. The Gospel writer John has John the Baptist saying twice, “I did not know him!” However, when John is introduced to him as the Jordon River, his life is changed forever.
St. Paul in our second reading is saying, “I have been introduced to Jesus Christ, and I know who he is, and I am now one of his apostles.” He goes on to say, “Once you have been introduced to Jesus Christ we are charged to be holy.” Who are we today because of meeting Jesus Christ? Are we holy, or as holy as we should be? What does it mean to be holy? In our spiritual lives, there will always be the fight between doing good and doing evil. Should I look at inappropriate things on the computer of not? Should I get drunk and act foolishly or not? This battle will always rage on, but if we are really trying to be holy, this battle will become less and less. What we want to get to in our spiritual lives is choosing the good or the better. I need to pray. Is it five minutes, is it a half-hour, or is it an hour a day? I need to forgive. Is it one time, or do we need to repeat the process, a few more times? The result of this kind of holiness is absolute joy. This is what we are aiming for in our spiritual lives.
Right now, we are being introduced to God in a brand new way. Will we smile, look God in the eyes, stand up, and will we have something to say? This introduction to Jesus will demand some kind of evidence that we know who he is. May this Eucharist help us to live for Christ and to give evidence of him in our lives?