Isaiah 49:3, 5-6
1. This reading contains a reference to “the servant.” What in it will Jesus proclaim throughout his ministry? Can we be a light for the world? How? Can we be a crack of light in someone’s darkness?
2. In what ways does Pope Francis’ World Peace Day message for the year 2017 help the Church become “a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth”?
I pledge the assistance of the Church in every effort to build peace through active and creative nonviolence. On 1 January 2017, the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development will begin its work. It will help the Church to promote in an ever more effective way ‘the inestimable goods of justice, peace, and the care of creation’ and concern for ‘migrants, those in need, the sick, the excluded and marginalized, the imprisoned and the unemployed, as well as victims of armed conflict, natural disasters, and all forms of slavery and torture.’ Every such response, however modest, helps to build a world free of violence, the first step towards justice and peace.
1 Corinthians 1:1-3
1. We are “called to be holy.” What does “holy” mean to you? How is John the Baptist a model of holiness? Who is holy in your world? What does s/he do that makes you think that?
2. When Luke reports Jesus’ baptism we hear about treatment of the poor. “Anyone who has two tunics must share with the one who has none … ” (Lk 3:11). Does outrage at our neighbors’ poverty have anything to do with holiness?
1. “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,” the Baptist says. But, “I did not know him.” Why did he identify an ordinary human being in this way? After John pointed Jesus out to the crowds, they wanted to know more about him, e.g., where did he live. If you had been in the crowd, would you have wanted to follow Jesus?
2. Why was John so certain about Jesus when he said, “Behold the Lamb of God”? Was John watching for the Spirit? Do you watch for the Spirit in your life? Can you find and trust this Spirit of God?