January 18th, 2015 – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

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With a short Christmas season, Ordinary Time’s return may seem a bit of a jolt, but this liturgy places us right in with the call of the first disciples as told in John’s Gospel. As he did with those first disciples long ago, Jesus invites us today to “Come and see.”

Today’s prayers give us the contours of what it means to follow Jesus. The Collect asks that God may show us “peace,” and after Communion we pray that our share in Christ’s table may make us “one in mind and heart.” The Universal Prayer intercessions further shape our prayer for peace, lifting to God the war-torn places of the world and those who suffer the direct consequences of conflict.

We must fulfill our role in God’s plan of salvation, for “whenever the memorial of this sacrifice is celebrated,” God continues “the work of our redemption” (Prayer over the Offerings). The First Reading’s account of the call of the prophet Samuel surely echoes our own struggle to hear God’s call and proclaim Christ’s saving work in our daily lives.
Today’s liturgy, then, directs us both inward, to hear “the Holy Spirit within” (Second Reading), and outward, to live as disciples in a world awaiting the fullness of the good news. We go forth to live as God’s messengers of peace.