Daily Reflection
January 17th, 1999
by
Brady Murphy
Campus Ministry
Isaiah 49:3, 5-6
1 Corinthians 1:1-3
John 1:29-34

When I was a child, the best part of Saturday afternoons was playing football on a grassy field not too far from home with friends.  At dusk, my motherís voice would find its way to us, calling my brother and I home to dinner.  Although we probably could have played for hours in the dark, we might have risked injury.  Certainly, playing in the dark is not very rewarding, and soon enough, we most likely would have lost interest ourselves.

Todayís readings are like my motherís calling when I was a child.  In all three readings, the importance of Godís invitation to join in the Kingdom is present to us.  And like my Motherís call, the timing of Godís invitation is crucial for the weak attention span of the human spirit.

A continuation of the servant song of Isaiah from last Sunday, the Prophet reexamines what it means to be called into covenant with God.  Isaiah says that our responsibility in the covenant is to be a servant that helps others find God, and  in turn, God will assist by being our strength.  But being a "servant" is simply not enough.  At the time of Isaiah (and especially to later Christians), this servant theme foreshadowed the coming of the messiahóthe "light to the nations"óthat will epitomize the lengths to which God goes to call us to the Kingdom.

In Paulís letter to the Corinthians, Paul reminds the assembly gathered in Corinth that they are all called and "sanctified" in Godís holiness.  Christians are more than people who try to help each other find the kingdom, but are sanctified holy and strengthened by God to gather all people to Godís kingdom.  In this context, it is fitting that Paul then prayerfully greets those at Corinth:  "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."(1 Cor 1:3).

Finally, in the Gospel we are brought to the image of Christ at Baptism.  Like last week's account from Matthew, Johnís Gospel again witnesses to the glory of the Holy Spiritís descent on Jesus in the Jordan river.  In both Matthewís and Johnís Gospels, we see the promise of the strengthening of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Baptism.  It is the same with Christ, the servant whom Isaiah spoke of, and our own baptisms in the Lord that we are strengthened by the descent of the Holy Spirit.

So we see in all three readings that Godís voice is calling humanity to join in the kingdom;  follow that voice and you will be strengthened in the Spirit.

Quoting Paul:  "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

 bmurphy@creighton.edu
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