Sunday, January 15, 2017

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor 

Quote of the Week: “What we love we shall grow to resemble.” — St. Bernard of Clairvaux.

The power of God abounds in the readings of today.

First, Isaiah speaks of the servant through whom the glory of God is shown. God forms his servant from the womb; God’s strength is revealed through him. Through him, the relationship of Israel and Jacob is restored with God. You will be a light to the nations.

Then Paul speaks of being called to be apostle, called to holiness, and one who now calls upon the name of the Lord.

The Gospel highlights John the Baptist, who recognizes and proclaims that: “Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”

Jesus is the one who pre-existed. Jesus is the one to be proclaimed to Israel. Jesus is the one on who the Spirit rests. Jesus is the Son of God.

Through these scriptures, God’s power bursts forth as he calls, sanctifies, sends, strengthens, forms, and gives light and redeems.

Who are the recipients of this power of God? They are Jesus, Isaiah, Paul, and you and I — indeed, all of the baptized.

As we come back to Ordinary Time in the church year, we are called to see that the extraordinary power of God becomes ordinary every day in our lives. God wishes to love and empower us and to bring his love into the world through us.

We are true apostles, servants, and sons and daughters of God. God does not hold back. He gives to us the greatest dignity in our call and baptismal faith. His will is that peace, justice and love will reign in his kingdom; he invites us to be the instruments to bring it about.

Our greatest and simplest response might be the refrain of the responsorial psalm today: “Here am I, Lord, I come to do your will.”

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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