I just heard the most ridiculous thing about liturgical decorations, that Christmas decor should remain until the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s Ordinary Time beginning today! The Presentation is a Sunday this year and also Groundhog Day!

In any event we’re back to the Gospel of Matthew. We have a portion of one of the Suffering Servant Songs from Isaiah 49 on the work of evangelization. We move to Psalm 40; the stanza again about eveglization. Next the opening verses of I Corinthians. Paul’s greeting. Finally the gospel of John, the story of the baptism of Jesus encounter as told by John; the theme of baptism and evangelization continue here.

Almost the entire gospel passage is John speaking and giving testimony to what he was told, to what he is doing, and to whom he encountered in Jesus. There is no voice from heaven, just the witness on earth of John, as if that alone should satisfy them. Jesus is called the Lamb of God, a title pointing to his sacrificial role and to the book of Revelations where this is the main title for Jesus. As John gives voice crying out in the desert, so too will Jesus given voice, peacefully and quietly like a lamb, in the north and on the journey to Jerusalem.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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