HOMILY FOR THE 2ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
THEME: “Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will”
BY: Fr. Anthony O. Ezeaputa, MA.
Most of us are familiar with the major liturgical seasons of the Catholic Church: Advent, when we prepare for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ; Christmas, when we celebrate the Incarnation of the Son of God; Lent, when we remember the suffering and death of our Savior, Jesus Christ; and Easter, when we celebrate his resurrection from the dead.
However, there is also the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which falls between the major liturgical seasons. Thus, following Advent and Christmas, Ordinary Time begins until Lent and Easter, after which it concludes with the Solemnity of Christ the King before the liturgical year begins again with Advent. You may have noticed that after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which we celebrated this year on Monday, January 9, 2023, we began the liturgical season of Ordinary Time.
Consider the liturgical seasons of the Catholic Church to be a large circle with five stops at which the mysteries of Christ unfold. At each stop along the large circle, the Catholic Church emphasizes a Christological mystery, known as a liturgical season. In addition to calling us at each stop in the large circle, the Catholic Church guides us to live our lives through them.
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The term “Ordinary Time of the Church” refers to all the time and seasons that aren’t included in the four major liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. Green is the liturgical color of Ordinary Time. After all, green is the color of life and hope. Moreover, Ordinary Time is a time of conversion, maturation, and quiet growth during which the Church considers the fullness of the teachings, parables, and miracles of Jesus Christ while on this earth.
Today, at the beginning of this liturgical season, which is already in its second week, let us present ourselves to God, assume a posture of listening, and make the fundamental choice to live our lives according to the will of God. Let us aspire to seek the face of God through the ordinary events of our lives.
The response to our Responsorial Psalm expresses so eloquently the proper attitude for this liturgical season: “Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will” (Psalm 40). Also, it would be great if the response to our Responsorial Psalm became our way of doing things in 2023. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will!
Of course, the psalms are not only Jewish prayers but also part of our Christian Jewish heritage. The 150 Psalms are Jewish prayers for different occasions and needs. However, when we pray them and add “Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” to them, they become Christian prayers as well. Moreover, the psalms, also known as the psalter, form a major part of the official liturgical prayer of the Catholic Church, otherwise known as the “Divine Office.”
We hear Psalm 40 at some significant moments in the church; it is associated with Mary and proclaimed in conjunction with the annunciation story; it is used during ordinations and the profession of religious vows when a seminarian or novice, even a bishop-elect, answers “Amen” to the call to do the will of God as an ordained minister or a consecrated person. But it is also a fitting way to start this new segment of the liturgical calendar, which is the Ordinary Time.
Psalm 40, which is our Responsorial Psalm for this Sunday, is a prayer of thanksgiving about a great deliverance that God has granted to David. Perhaps David was giving thanks and praise to God for the restoration of his throne after the brief usurpation of Absalom. Of this deliverance he speaks in verses 1–2, “I have waited, waited for the LORD, and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.” And he put a new song into my mouth, “a hymn to our God,” which forms a sort of introduction to the whole prayer.
He manifests his gratitude to God not by “sacrifice or offering,” but by obedience to the Word of God; not by “holocausts or sin-offerings,” but by a complete offering of himself to God by doing the will of God (6–8) and constant proclamation of the goodness and justice of God to others (9–10).
Today, I invite you to learn from David by declaring, “Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will” (Psalm 40). And may the Lord find the words of your mouth and the meditations of your heart pleasing to him (Psalm 19:14). Amen! Happy Sunday!
Fr. Anthony O. Ezeaputa, MA.
Homily for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
January 15, 2023
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