Liturgy of the Sunday

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Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
Prayer for the unity of Christians. Particular memory of the Orthodox Churches.

First Reading

Isaiah 49,3.5-6

He said to me, 'Israel, you are my servant, through whom I shall manifest my glory.' And now Yahweh has spoken, who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him and to re-unite Israel to him;-I shall be honoured in Yahweh's eyes, and my God has been my strength.- He said, 'It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I shall make you a light to the nations so that my salvation may reach the remotest parts of earth.'


Psalm 39


Blessed is the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.

I waited, I waited for the Lord
and he stooped down to me;
he heard my cry.

He drew me from the deadly pits,
from the miry clay.

He set my feet upon a rock
and made my footsteps firm.

He put a new song into my mouth,
praise of our God.

Many shall see and fear
and shall trust in the Lord.

Happy the man who has placed
his trust in the Lord

and has not gone over to the rebels
who follow false gods.

How many, O Lord my God,
are the wonders and designs

that you have worked for us;
you have no equal.

Should I proclaim and speak of them,
they are more than I can tell!

You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings,
but an open ear.

You do not ask for holocaust and victim.
Instead, here am I.

In the scroll of the book it stands written
that I should do your will.

My God, I delight in your law
in the depth of my heart.

Your justice I have proclaimed
in the great assembly.

My lips I have not sealed;
you know it, O Lord.

I have not hidden your justice in my heart
but declared your faithful help.

I have not hidden your love and your truth
from the great assembly.

O Lord, you will not withhold
your compassion from me.

Your merciful love and your truth
will always guard me.

For I am beset with evils
too many to be counted.

My sins have fallen upon me
and my sight fails me.

They are more than the hairs of my head
and my heart sinks.

O Lord, come to my rescue
Lord, come to my aid.

O let there be shame and confusion,
on those who seek my life.

O let them turn back in confusion,
who delight in my harm.

Let them be appalled, covered with shame,
who jeer at my lot.

O let there be rejoicing and gladness
for all who seek you.

Let them ever say : 'The Lord is great',
who love your saving help.,

As for me, wretched and poor,
the Lord thinks of me

You are my rescuer, my help,
O God, do not delay.

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 1,1-3

Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and Sosthenes, our brother, to the church of God in Corinth, to those who have been consecrated in Christ Jesus and called to be God's holy people, with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord as well as ours. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 1,29-34

The next day, he saw Jesus coming towards him and said, 'Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. It was of him that I said, "Behind me comes one who has passed ahead of me because he existed before me." I did not know him myself, and yet my purpose in coming to baptise with water was so that he might be revealed to Israel.' And John declared, 'I saw the Spirit come down on him like a dove from heaven and rest on him. I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me, "The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is to baptise with the Holy Spirit." I have seen and I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


The Gospel once again brings us to the banks of the Jordan for Jesus' baptism. The fourth evangelist, unlike the synoptics, does not recount the scene of baptism, but reports only the testimony of the Baptist, who "came as a witness to testify to the light" (Jn 1:7). John sees "Jesus coming toward him." It is Jesus who "comes toward" John, not the other way around. It is Jesus who comes towards us. He does so with humility, with delicacy, and without imposing himself in a violent way. This is how the Lord continues to approach, even today, men and women of every land.
The Baptist returns to help us open our heart's eyes and see this mystery. Habit can distract us, focusing on ourselves fogs our vision, and pride blinds us. The Baptist is an example to us. He is not afraid to say, "I myself did not know him." And even if he had seen it in the past, he had not understood the "true" face of Jesus. He too needed to not be content with what he knew, to not stop his search, to get out of his usual habits and witness the revelation of God. So he did, and the Lord heard him. Even while in prison he did not stop searching, and sent his disciples to interrogate Jesus. It is easy for us to assume that we already know the Lord, that we know enough about the Gospel, and that we feel freed from the deep search of Jesus' face, from a warmest and most passionate understanding of this mystery of love. Our laziness, even spiritual, can make us believe that it is possible to coast, continuing, more or less wearily, to live as always. The example of the Baptist urges us to grow in the knowledge of Jesus, to be more ready and generous in answering the questions of love that continue to grow from the many human and geographical peripheries of our world. If John, though so great in spirit, says, "I did not know him," how much more should we say it? And let us not forget that, just before, he had said to the crowds: "Among you stands one whom you do not know" (Jn 1:26).
Let us imitate the Baptist's desire to meet Jesus. There are many ways to live this tension. But they all rely on taking the Gospel back in hand and listening to it with filial perseverance. Let us try to open its pages, letting our hearts be touched: we will see the Lord come closer. We will see him as "a lamb that takes away the sin of the world"; We will see him as the one who takes our struggle, our anguish, our crosses, our doubts, our uncertainties, and our sins upon himself. From this knowledge starts following the Lord.