THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK January 15-21, 2017



January 15-21, 2017

The Gospel of John 1:29-34 is certainly worthy of a second reading, because it is full of all manner of revelation.

            John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “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.’ I did not know him, but the reason  why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel. …I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him.  I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

What a wonderful testimony to who Jesus is in a few words right at the beginning of his public ministry.

He was the lamb that was slaughtered as a sin offering.  He takes away the “sin” of the world – the rejection by the world down through the ages. John announces strongly the existence of the Holy Spirit.  The final testimony is that Jesus is the Son of God.  You wonder if anyone was really listening to John. Perhaps, it was too much for them to comprehend.  Sometimes we act that way, too.  We take it all for granted, rather than being in awe of this surprising and awesome reality.  This Jesus is so special, but he somehow gets pushed aside for worldly concerns and activities.

This week we honor a man, Martin Luther King, Jr., who was willing to publicly fight for justice and die

For his Christian beliefs. There are many unsung heroes and heroines who have fought for justice. Let us remember all of them this day.

Though St. Anthony, Abbot and an Egyptian Desert Father, wished and tried to live the life of a hermit, many gathered around him to benefit from his holiness.  Hence, he is considered the father and founder of organized Christian monasticism in the third century.

St. Fabian was a Pope of the third century.  Though he was of noble Roman birth, he served the people of the countryside.  When it came time for the election of a new pope, none considered Fabian.  However, as the story goes a dove appeared above his head.  All took this as a sign of choice of Fabian, as pope, by the Holy Spirit, as they recalled Jesus’ baptism.

Another third century saint, Sebastian joined the Roman army and became a captain.  He ministered to those condemned by Diocletian, the Roman Emperor.  When it became known that he was a Christian, he was sentenced to death by becoming the target of arrow practice.  He is pictured in art with many arrows sticking in his body.  When his body was claimed, it was found that he was not dead.  He was nursed back to health.  He immediately went to admonish the emperor and was martyred by being beaten to death.

St. Agnes, the little Lamb of God, is one of seven women mentioned in the Canon of the Mass.    She was about twelve years old, when one of her suitors, supposedly turned her in to Emperor Diocletian in the third century.  Many stories are associated with her being dragged through the city naked.  Some say her hair grew long and covered her; others say that anyone who tried to rape her was blinded or struck dead.  She was beheaded or pierced in the throat by the sword. She is patron of rape victims and virgins.

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 1: 3

Sister Rosemarie Goins, Director

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