Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

01-15-2023From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. Antony Arockiadoss

Dear Family!

Welcome to the Ordinary Season! The readings still resonate the festive mood of the Baptism of the Lord. As the Evangelist John introduces various titles of Jesus throughout the Gospel, one title stands out: Jesus as the Lamb. Why the Lamb? The central feature of the Jewish Passover feast was the lamb which was eaten during the Passover meal. When the angel of God came to destroy all the firstborn, it “passed over” the houses of the Israelites, which had been smeared with the lamb’s blood. This became then a symbol of liberation.

Jesus is both the offerer of the sacrifice and its victim and his death and resurrection inaugurate a New Covenant between God and his people. It is perhaps significant that in all the gospel accounts of the Last Supper there is no mention of a lamb being eaten during the meal. The title Lamb of God also recalls the suffering servant led like a lamb to the slaughter which we read about in Isaiah (53:7,10). In Revelation, too, we read of the victorious apocalyptic lamb who will destroy the evil in the world (Revelation 5-7; 17:14).

The Catechism teaches us, "After agreeing to baptize him along with the sinners, John the Baptist looked at Jesus and pointed him out as the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”. By doing so, he reveals that Jesus is at the same time the suffering Servant who silently allows himself to be led to the slaughter and who bears the sin of the multitudes, and also the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel's redemption at the first Passover. Christ's whole life expresses his mission: "to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (CCC 608)

As we entered into Ordinary Season, one of the most important focus for the whole year is that our parish has a common path and direction that is centered on the Eucharist. It is an exciting journey ahead as the reason and remedy is Jesus experienced in the Eucharist. The common pull is that “our world is hurting and we all need healing, yet many of us are separated from the very source of our strength” (National Eucharistic Revival).

We officially launched the Eucharistic Campaign on June 19, 2022. The National Eucharistic Congress is scheduled in July 17-21, 2024. It will be held at Indianapolis, Indiana. The diocesan revival is scheduled from June 19, 2022 to June 11, 2023 and the Parish Revival is from June 11, 2023 to July 17, 2024. We are all greatly appreciative of our bishops in leading us to the love of Eucharist and also inspiring us to going out on mission. That missionary commissioning of the People of God, especially the Laity is scheduled from July 21, 2024 to Pentecost 2025. So, we have a roadmap in front of us!

Our Parish will be hosting series of talks, discussions and prayer services centered around the Spirituality of the Eucharist. There will be a monthly presentation on a particular topic focusing on this Spirituality. There will be monthly Holy Hour to promote this devotion in our parish.

In order to facilitate and promote this devotion, I need your support. We are forming a ’72 Elders’ group (to borrow a Biblical Image of discipleship) who will be dedicated to help inspire our parish community at large to attend all talks, discussions and prayer services organized. The 72 Elders could be of any age. They are the Core Community of disciples who feel the call to help the parish community in evangelization. You will find the sign-up sheet at the back of the church. Please take some time in personal prayer before you sign up to be a lay minister of evangelization.

Thank you for your support!

Fr. Antony