Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
John, the Baptist, proclaimed: Behold, the Lamb of God. These are the very words we proclaim before we receive Jesus in Holy Communion. The two disciples of John felt the power of these words, and they left John and followed Jesus. Can we leave the things that we cling to, like our complacency, caprices, our sinful tendencies, arrogance, pride, or even the fashion of the day, just to follow Jesus? Or do we cling to them despite our understanding of the importance of Jesus in our life? The disciples of John asked Jesus: Teacher, where do you live? In the Gospel of John,
Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (14: 5-6).
The subsequent verses of the same chapter may give us more light to our search for Jesus in His works and in His words. Jesus says,
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments…. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him”…. “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him (Jn 14: 15-23).
So, whoever seeks Jesus finds Him and Jesus lives in him. To be with Jesus is no longer a matter of being with Him in a place, but of obedience, of oneness with His Church and of opting for life.
Jesus is always the first to invite us to be with Him; and we will see Him and His glory because He shows Himself to us as He opens our eyes with His healing touch. Pope Benedict XVI said in his Christmas message (December 2007) that heaven does not belong to the geography of space, but to the geography of the heart. When we find Jesus or Jesus finds us, He now lives in our hearts not just for a day, unless we turn our backs again on Him because of sin, but all the days of our life. St. Paul would say that whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him (1Cor 6: 17).
The immorality that Paul is referring to in our reading today is not only about the sins of sexual abuse and promiscuity, but encompasses many things, like divorce, abortion, pornography, euthanasia, artificial contraception, immodesty in dress and speech, excessive marking and piercing of the body, use and abuse of prohibited drugs and alcohol, and many others that ignore the presence of God and disregard the body as the Temple of the Holy Spirit. These sins are a manifestation of the paganism of our time. Christian life is not just about avoiding sin. Christian life is a relationship with the Word of God who became man. He does not ask for only the minimum. God gave us the Ten Commandments so that we can avoid what is wrong and be free to worship Him. Jesus also commanded us to love others as we love ourselves, so that we just do not avoid what is wrong, but also do good to our neighbor. We are no longer our own property, for we have already been purchased at a price. Therefore we have to glorify God in our body (1Cor 6: 20), by retracing the paths of Jesus in the following and in many others:
– Take care of our health properly, dress up simply and take care of our hygiene.
– Exercise the virtues of chastity and of modesty in speech, in action and in dress.
– Exercise the virtue of industry and obedience so that we do not fall into laziness and become the playground of the devil.
– Serve the poor, the sick and the needy, so that we can be one with them in their suffering and in the suffering of Christ.
– Choose to become honest and law-abiding citizens so that God will always be made manifest in whatever we do.
The Eucharist that we celebrate, then, will not just be a ceremony, but a celebration and life. As we receive the Eucharist, let us approach the Lamb of God with the humility of Samuel, and say: Here I am, Lord. Speak, for your servant is listening. Then we will grow in the wisdom of listening to God, so that every word that comes out of our mouth and every action that emanates from our body will not be without effect for the glory of God and the good of His people.