‘It is not enough for you to be my servant … I will make you the light of the nations!’
As we begin the New Year, whatever our mood or life-situation, our readings give us hope and comfort as we celebrate Jesus Christ’s life of service and ministry.
In the so-called ‘Servant Song’, Isaiah writes of the mysterious servant of the Lord God. Christians have long identified him with Jesus, who was formed by God in the womb and sent into the world as ‘the light of the nations’. (First Reading)
The words of the Psalmist would fit well on the lips of the Servant. He worships God with ‘an open ear’, and with a spirit that delights in generous service.
In the Gospel, we encounter not only Jesus as he begins his public ministry, but also John the Baptist, who witnesses to Jesus’s baptism. John hears the voice of the Father and sees the Spirit descend and rest on Jesus: a revelation of the three persons of the Trinity.
In the Second Reading, Paul wishes the Corinthians the grace and peace of Christ; a grace that implies everything associated with God’s free gifts to us in Christ.
We, too, like the Corinthians, have a calling to be holy and to lead a life of prayer. This week, we might pray for the grace of an ‘open ear’ and an open heart, and ask for continued faithfulness in our Christian ministry this coming year.