Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s readings provide clear and inspiring reminders of the most fundamental aspect of our identity — that of servants of our most high and holy God, His modern-day disciples and stewards.

John the Baptist recognized the holiness of Jesus and the response due to Him when he encountered Christ in person on the day they met at the Jordan River. His response, which we read in our Gospel passage from St. John was:

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world… He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.”

What a powerful description of our Lord and the place He should rightfully have in each of our lives. He is truly our Savior, the only one who can free us from our sinfulness. We are utterly and completely dependent on His power, love and mercy. Therefore He truly does “rank ahead” of us; he deserves to be first, above all other priorities and plans in our lives. Let us examine our daily lives and encourage our children to do the same.

What will our response be?

Does the way I spend my time reflect that God comes first? Do prayer and weekly Mass, regular confession and time with my family “rank ahead” of everything else on my calendar? Do I use my talents, skills and energy to serve my family, parish and community in thanksgiving and recognition that God’s kingdom ranks ahead of any other goals or ambitions? Do I spend my money and use my material possessions so as to glorify God?

Challenge questions, to be sure. But questions worthy of our high calling as Christian stewards offered a glorious mission in service of our Lord and His kingdom. What will our response be?

— Stewardship Reflections by The Catholic Steward and Catholic Stewardship Consultants