2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 14, 2024

Year B


Discover the deeper meaning and connections found in this week's readings, through these great commentaries written by our priests.

The Word

Explore this week's readings and hear what God is saying to us through His Word.

Liturgy notes

Find out more about how we can mark this special day in our liturgy.


See our music recommendations for the liturgy.


Fr Liam Cummins

We’re now two weeks into the new year and I wonder, what are you looking for in 2024?

When you look at your life, relationships, and world today, what are you looking for?

Is what you are looking for today different from what you were looking for a year ago, three years ago, ten, twenty, thirty years ago? If so, how has it changed? And if not, why hasn’t it changed?

Jesus is asking a question that has the power to reorient our lives and begin changing our world. What if you and I asked ourselves that question every day? What if asking ourselves that question became our morning practice? What am I looking for?

Our answers to that question probably reveal more about us, our life, relationships, and world than the things we are looking for. It’s a diagnostic question. Whatever it is we are looking for sets a particular course and direction for our life. It asks something of us. Is your life on course? Are you headed in a good direction? If not, maybe it’s time to change what you are looking for.

How would you answer Jesus’ question today?

Sometimes I’m not sure what I’m looking for. The longer I live and the older I get, the fewer answers I have. Life has a way of calling into question our answers, and so does Jesus. I think that’s what he’s doing for the two disciples of John the Baptist who are following him. Twice they’ve stood with John as has pointed to Jesus and said, “Here is the Lamb of God.” They have their answer, and they follow it only to see Jesus turn, look them in the eye, and ask, “What are you looking for?” What do you want?

It’s not enough for them to say, “We’re looking for the Lamb of God.” That’s John’s answer. Jesus is asking them to look within themselves, to face themselves, and to answer for themselves. No one else has or can give us our answer. That’s our work to do. It’s part of growing up and taking responsibility for our lives. And that can be a hard and slow process.

When the two disciples ask, “Where are you staying?” Jesus doesn’t give them an answer. He doesn’t give them an address or information about where he’s going, what he does, who he is, or how he spends his time. He extends an invitation, “Come and see.”

He’s inviting them and us to live and experience his question. It’s a simple question but it’s not easy to answer.

Are you looking for healing and wholeness? Come and see. Are you looking for forgiveness and reconciliation? Come and see. Are you looking for hope and courage? Come and see. Are you looking for justice and change? Come and see. Are you looking for light and clarity? Come and see. Are you looking for life and life abundant? Come and see.

What are you looking for today? And what would it take and be like to get up and go look?

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Catholicism of the Catholic Church References:

CCC 462, 516,2568, 2824: the Father’s will fulfilled in Christ
CCC 543-546: to welcome the Kingdom, welcome theWord of God
CCC 873-874: Christ the source of Christianvocation
CCC 364, 1004: the dignity of the body
CCC 1656, 2226: helping children discover theirvocation

Liturgy notes

Fr Anthony Fyk

Liturgically we are now in a period of transition. From all the solemnities and feasts that we celebrated and experienced during Christmastide to the simplicity of Ordinary Time. Of course, there is nothing ordinary in time, for all time is a gift and a grace. In today’s Gospel we hear of John pointing out the Messiah – “Look, there is the lamb of God.” The same words are used in the celebration of the Eucharist at the invitation to Holy Communion – “Behold, the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world…” Many texts found in the liturgy are scriptural based. The double usage of ‘behold’ is not there haphazardly, but has a function of a rhetorical force, of empathising a strong and compelling invitation to receive the Lamb of God in Holy Communion. After genuflecting, which is a gesture of reverence, the priest takes the host and, holding it slightly raised above the paten or above the chalice, invites the people to behold, to gaze upon the Lamb of God. As celebrants, do we really mean these words of invitation? Or do we say them out of mere habit. For the faithful, do we gaze upon the Lord with faith and trust, and accept his invitation to receive him in the Eucharist, but also to accept his invitation of following him and be his disciple. Along our pilgrim journey of life, we all struggle with our sins and we may feel unworthy at times, but we should take counsel in the words of Pope Francis, “[Jesus] knows us; he knows we are sinners; and he knows we make many mistakes, but he does not give up on joining his life to ours. He knows that we need it, because the Eucharist is not the rewards of saints, no, it is the Bread of sinners.” Today, we are called to ‘come and see’ and follow him, as we heard the disciples did. Lastly, as we are called to ‘behold’ the Lord in the Eucharist, we are also called to ‘behold’ the Lord in others, especially in the poor, sick, and the suffering. We cannot neglect this truth, for as Pope Francis has reminded us, “when those who receive [the Eucharist]turn a blind eye to the poor and suffering, or consent to various forms of division, contempt and inequality, the Eucharist is received unworthily.”

Music recommendations

Any questions?

Do you have questions about the liturgy and how we are called to participate in it? Explore how the Church councils, saints, and popes have answered this key question and many more.

Discover the Mass

Every movement of the Mass is rich in meaning but we can become over-familiar with it. Rediscover the Mass and explore how it relates to the Exodus story, where many of its rituals come from, and how it makes Jesus present to us today.