Readings for January 15, 2017 Year A Second Sunday after the Epiphany

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First Reading and Psalm

  • Isaiah 49:1-7
  • Psalm 40:1-11

Second Reading

  • 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

Gospel

  • John 1:29-42

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

Using the striking image of the nation as a sharpened arrow pointed at the nations, Isaiah speaks in the voice of YAHWEH’s chosen servant, Israel. The servant’s task is to return to God and be used for his own glory, manifesting the light of salvation to the nations. Although Israel is presently despised, the glorious blessing of YAHWEH upon it will so sharply strike the nations that even foreign kings shall worship its God. The Psalmist counts himself as someone whom YAHWEH has rescued from the pit, set on a rock, and enabled to sing a new song of praise that leads many to faith. It was not sacrifice that has saved him but a heart receptive to YAHWEH’s steadfast love and mercy. St. Paul celebrates the grace of God that has been manifested to the Corinthians. Every spiritual gift has been poured out upon them as part of the fellowship of Christ being instituted throughout the world. Today’s Gospel portrays the ministry of John the Baptist as a humble servant pointing to one greater than he. He has seen the Holy Spirit descend like a dove upon his cousin Jesus, unmistakably identifying him as the Son of God. Two of his own disciples then begin to follow Jesus, leading to the recruitment of Peter, or “the Rock” on whom the church will be set.

As Introductions

Old Testament

Using the striking image of the nation as a sharpened arrow pointed at the nations, Isaiah speaks in the voice of YAHWEH’s chosen servant, Israel. The servant’s task is to return to God and be used for his own glory, manifesting the light of salvation to the nations. Although Israel is presently despised, the glorious blessing of YAHWEH upon it will so sharply strike the nations that even foreign kings shall worship its God.

Psalm

The Psalmist counts himself as someone whom YAHWEH has rescued from the pit, set on a rock, and enabled to sing a new song of praise that leads many to faith. It was not sacrifice that has saved him but a heart receptive to YAHWEH’s steadfast love and mercy.

New Testament

St. Paul celebrates the grace of God that has been manifested to the Corinthians. Every spiritual gift has been poured out upon them as part of the fellowship of Christ being instituted throughout the world.

Gospel

Today’s Gospel portrays the ministry of John the Baptist as a humble servant pointing to one greater than he. He has seen the Holy Spirit descend like a dove upon his cousin Jesus, unmistakably identifying him as the Son of God. Two of his own disciples then begin to follow Jesus, leading to the recruitment of Peter, or “the Rock” on whom the church will be set.

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