15 January, Sunday — Bearing Witness

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isa 49:3,5-6
1 Cor 1:1-3
Jn 1:29-34

“May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send you grace and peace.”

Amidst the festivities of Christmastide and merrymaking of ushering in the New Year, some of us may have made new year resolutions. This annual tradition helps us take stock of what is truly important in our lives, allows us to pause and reflect on the year behind us, and to plan for the year ahead. In my younger days, my resolutions would revolve around clinching that promotion at work, travelling more, or losing the extra holiday pounds. There was an insatiable sense of wanting to do more, have more and be more.  

As the years rolled by, I stopped making new year resolutions, choosing rather to take each day as it comes and giving thanks for every little blessing. A recent conversation with some dear friends on starting a gratitude journal reminded me how far we have come in our personal growth, where the quest for peace and grace trumps that of worldly accomplishments or material success. 

Today’s reading reminds us that grace and peace are not to be sought out, but granted by our Father. However, such graces gifted to us are not to be stowed away but to help us live out our faith. While the early Christians had to overcome persecution for their beliefs, challenges against the faith persist today, albeit in more insidious ways like individualism. 

My resolution for this year is to be authentic to my identity as a child of God, and to handle adversity or conflict in the workplace in a way which is consistent with being a true Christian. As with keeping a gratitude journal, the external circumstances do not change, but I can choose to reframe my circumstances. With the grace and peace which God has granted me, I can make an intentional decision to be authentic, kind and loving.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Eber)

Prayer: Father God, we pray for grace and peace to bear witness to the faith in the workplace, at home and especially with those who are different from us.     

Thanksgiving: May we always remember that God loves us so much he sent His son to die for us. Thank you, Father for choosing us.        

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