Lectionary Reflections: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time January 15, 2017

Engaging Faith | Fri, Jan 6, 2017

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Education for Justice

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time [a]

January 15, 2017


Isaiah 49:5-6

1 Corinthians 1:1-3

John 1:29-34



January 8-14: National Migration Week (

January 15: 103rd World Day of Migrants and Refugees 

January 16: Religious Freedom Day

January 16: Martin Luther King Day observed in the United States

January 18 – 25: Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

January 20: Inauguration Day in the United States

January 21: Women’s March on Washington



Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are lights of hope. Certainly, Jesus Christ is the true light, the sun that has risen above all the shadows of history. But to reach him we also need lights close by—people who shine with his light and so guide us along our way.

-Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, 49

May charity and nonviolence govern how we treat each other as individuals, within society and in international life. … In the most local and ordinary situations and in the international order, may nonviolence become the hallmark of our decisions, our relationships and our actions, and indeed of political life in all its forms. 

-Pope Francis, 2017 Message for World Day of Peace 

What is being looked for is not simply the solution to one problem, but an entire shift of world view away from patterns of dominance toward mutually enhancing relationships.

-Elizabeth Johnson, She Who Is, 28

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction... The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation. 

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. 

-Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 2


Thoughts for Your Consideration

Isaiah makes a powerful statement about what God desires to do through human beings. God will show divine glory in those who serve God. God will even allow them to be a light to all nations. In the gospel reading, John the Baptist says that this power of the Spirit can be seen most clearly in Jesus, who is the very Son of God. God’s spirit is available and wants to do great things!

Many people in the United States are anxious about many things and especially about the new administration, which will come into power on the 20th. Will our nation stay focused on peace and justice?  Will the poor be included in our bounty?  Will people lose health insurance? Will we work together with the nations of the world to respect the environment and lesson climate change? We will be committed to ending wars and terrorism?

In this time of war, in this era of violence and terror, in this generation that is struggling with issues around globalization, in this world economy with so many inequalities, in a time when millions of people are out of work in the United States, on this Martin Luther King, Jr., weekend, in this era where our nation incarcerates so many people of color, in this week of prayer for Christian Unity, during the upcoming time when people gather in Washington to pray and rally for life, in this era when many feel divided by ideological positions, we are called to believe that this spirit can bring together the diverse and divided people of our world.  We are called to believe that we can make a difference and that God’s spirit creates “a light to the nations” and “a salvation that will reach to the ends of the earth.”  God wants the light of justice and peace to shine in the world.

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

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