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Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

John the Baptist acted a signpost pointing to Jesus. He had a clear sense of his mission and, when questioned, resisted the temptation to assume any other identity than that of the prophesy of Isaiah: "A voice cries out in the wilderness: prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God (...)" (Isaiah 40:1-11)

The Gospel of John differs in many ways from the synoptic gospels. Unlike them, he does not give an account of the baptism of Christ but concentrates on continuing the theme of the prologue, the revelation of the Word Made Flesh. The extract that we read today is in fact a summary of the life of God incarnate. He is affirmed  by the Spirit descending on him, to which the Baptist bears witness. He is also named as the Lamb of God which is very much a Johannine concept, repeated even more in the Book of Revelations. The lamb is the animal sacrificed at the Passover, and Jesus would die as the perfect sacrifice around the time the paschal lambs were being slaughtered.

The late Bishop Martin Drennan suggested that we might reflect on people and things in our lives that have pointed us to Jesus (Turning Wounds into Wisdom). There is so much advice from many quarters as to how we should live our lives and find happiness but the acid test of them is whether they form a pathway to the Lamb of God.