2nd Sunday of the Year (a)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Sundays – Year (a).
Weekdays – Year 1.
Sunday 15th January: Second Sunday of the Year (a)
Today’s first reading is from the Prophet Isaiah (49:3.5-6). He talks of the servant God has chosen to bring Israel back to him, and not just Israel, but all people of all time.
The second reading is from the First letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (1:1-3). St. Paul reminds the early Christians at Corinth of their call to holiness.
The Gospel passage is from St. John (1:29-34). Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus. He is God’s chosen servant who takes away the sins of the people and baptises them with the Holy Spirit.
Monday 16th January: Monday of Week 2 of the Year.
The first reading, from the Letter to the Hebrews, shows that Jesus has perfectly fulfilled the requirements of priesthood. He was appointed by God could understand human weakness. Above all, he offers prayer and entreaty ‘aloud and in silent tears’.
St. Mark, in this extract, shows how a new age has dawned with Jesus. Jesus is shown as placing no value on mere empty externals.
Tuesday 17th January: Memorial of St. Anthony.
St. Anthony was born in Egypt about 251 and died in 356. He is regarded by many as the originator of the monastic way of life. He gave up all his possessions and went to live in the desert as a hermit in various parts of Egypt but disciples gathered around him and he founded a number of monasteries, gatherings of scattered cells.
Wednesday 18th January: Wednesday of Week 2 of the Year.
The author intends to prove the superiority of Christy over the Levitical priests. The whole chapter relates to the vague figure of Melchizedek, a priest to whom Abraham had given obedience. There is no reference anywhere to his birth or death so he is said to live forever. He foreshadows the great high priest, Jesus Christ who is forever.
Jesus again shows his power. The Pharisees needed to know that Jesus promoted the commandments. Faith is the essential characteristic.
Thursday 19th January: Thursday of Week 2 of the Year.
This passage is a definition of the priestly office of Jesus. It is not a shadow or a copy of something else but is unique, the very essence of priesthood.
Jesus is overwhelmed with the approach of all those looking for a cure. Again, faith is defined as the essential characteristic.
Friday 20th January: Friday of Week 2 of the year.
Continuing the passages from the Letter to the Hebrews, the author reminds his readers that if the first covenant had worked then there would have been no need for a second one.
At this stage in his mission, Jesus picks his apostles from his chosen disciples. They are then sent out to carry on and complete the mission of Jesus.
Saturday 21st January: Memorial of St. Agnes.
St. Agnes suffered martyrdom at the age of 12 at Rome either in the second half of the third century or, more probably, at the beginning of the fourth. Many of the early Fathers of the Church and especially St. Ambrose and St. Augustine speak about her.