homily studio 19/1

Jan 16, 2014

Each week I will upload a post entitled “homily studio,” followed by the date of the relevant Sunday eg 19 Jan. On this page I will simply drop a selection of possible homily starters and resources. It is up to the preacher then to pick and choose from the smorgasbord of possibilities.

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. 19 January 2014

John the Baptist points to Jesus.

  • Many great works of art are based on these words of John the Baptist taken from today’s Gospel reading: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Have a look at some of these images at this link. In what ways does my life (ie not primarily words but my “person”) indicate not myself but Jesus?
  • Barron emphasises this central indication away from self when in the first reading Isaiah is given it’s purpose by the Lord: not to exist as a comfortable little group as the “elite of the Lord’ or the People of God, BUT to exist as a Lumen Gentium, that is, a light to the nations: “I will make you a light to the nations with a clear and essential mission: that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth”. Is 46:6
  • You will notice in the image I use for these ‘homily studio’ posts, there is the scriptures, but also the local newspapers. This morning I read the paper wondering how many of the news stories and articles are about people pointing to themselves, and how many are about people pointing outside themselves. There were a few of the latter, generous people acting lovingly. But it was the education supplement to this morning’s Press that contained the heading “School’s focus on God sets it apart.” The brief article on Middleton Grange School opened with the principal stating that the schools sees “the purpose of education [as being] for the glory of God.” Traditionally it was the Catholic school that existed “AMDG” – for the greater glory of God.


  • Last Sunday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord. Pope Francis has begun the year with a Wednesday Audience series on the sacraments, and for the past couple of weeks he has spoken with practical passion about baptism. Today’s Gospel encounter with John the Baptist gives us the opportunity to provide some positive catechesis on the Sacrament of Baptism.
  • Links to Pope Francis on Baptism:

Here I am Lord, I come to do your will

  • This psalm 40 is set to many musical settings and is often sung as a popular hymn. Perhaps the most popular is Dan Schutte‘s hymn I the Lord of Sea and Sky. This would be a good hymn to sing this Sunday, but not as the psalm since in the heart of the Liturgy of the Word we stay with the most accurate translations of the scriptural texts, rather than paraphrases which are used in hymns.
  • As I prayed this psalm at Mass on Wednesday (when it was also the responsory) I was moved by the verse: “to do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!” It is easy to pray and sing (ie pray twice) this psalm without appreciating the significance of this verse. How often we think that the “will of God” is the thing that we don’t want to do but think we should do. Not true! Our experience teaches us this: how often we have decided to do what we knew God to be asking of us (even though that was difficult), but very quickly discovered the inner peace, indeed “delight” in God’s desire for us. Also we often think that the will of God is calling us to do something that is exterior or foreign to us, but in truth the will of God for me is already planted in the depth of my being by God. This means that the will of God is synonymous with the deepest desire of my heart.

Proper of the Mass

All the earth shall bow down before you, O God,
and shall sing to you,
shall sing to your name, O Most High!

Almighty ever-living God,
who govern all things,
both in heaven and on earth,
mercifully hear the pleading of your people
and bestow your peace on our times.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Grant us, O Lord, we pray,
that we may participate worthily in these mysteries,
for whenever the memorial of this sacrifice is celebrated
the work of our redemption is accomplished
Through Christ our Lord.

You have prepared a table before me,
and how precious is the chalice that quenches my thirst.
Or: 1 Jn 4: 16
We have come to know and to believe
in the love that God has for us.

Pour on us, O Lord, the Spirit of your love,
and in your kindness
make those you have nourished
by this one heavenly Bread
one in mind and heart.
Through Christ our Lord.


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