2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (2023)

Sunday January 18, 2026

Mass Readings for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

  • First ReadingIsaiah 49:3, 5-6: “It is too little, the Lord says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 40: “Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.”
  • Second Reading1 Corinthians 1:1-3: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • GospelJohn 1:29-34: “I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.”

Themes for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The Mass readings for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A inspire us to think about the call to holiness and the need to declare that Jesus has died for our redemption. In the first reading, we hear one of the “Servant Songs”. The psalm is a prayer of both thanksgiving and lament. The second reading evokes the call to holiness. The Gospel recalls the public actions of John the Baptist to identify Jesus as the Lamb of God. John the Baptist recalls the baptism of Jesus and that he saw the Spirit descend upon Jesus.

  • Ministry as service
  • The call to holiness
  • Servant leadership

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.

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Resources for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Litany of St. John the Baptist

In this Litany of St. John the Baptist, we ask this saint by his many titles and roles to pray for us so we can be more like him.

Baptism Word Search Puzzle

This word search puzzle includes words typically associated with baptism. It is suitable for use with your Children’s Liturgy of the Word, Vacation Bible School (VBS), or Youth Ministry.

Cry Out

This Cry Out lesson plan on St. John the Baptist will help youth understand who this prophet was and the role he played in making the way for Jesus.

Paper Plate Dove Craft

This paper plate dove craft is simple enough for your Vacation Bible School or Children’s Liturgy of the Word.

Homilies and Reflections for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

God’s Calendar

Jeff Cavins explains why Ordinary Time is actually a very exciting part of the year because it reminds us of the promises God has in store for us.

Perfect Offering

From Scott Hahn. “Before the first exodus, a lamb was offered in sacrifice and its blood painted on the Israelites’ door posts. The blood of the lamb identified their homes and the Lord “passed over” these in executing judgment on the Egyptians. In the new exodus, Jesus is the “Lamb of God,” as John beholds Him in the Gospel today.” Continue reading.

It Is Too Little for You to Be My Servant

From Bishop Robert Barron. “I want to focus this week on the extraordinary passage from the book of the prophet Isaiah, for it reveals a central dynamic of all of biblical revelation, and indeed of the spirituality of every Christian: that the Lord’s election is not for the sake of the elect, but for the sake of the whole world.”

Knowing Who We Are

Also from Bishop Robert Barron. “The entirety of this Sunday’s second reading might be seen as so much boilerplate, throwaway lines that a writer used at the commencement of his letter, something like a formal salutation. But in point of fact, almost the whole of Christianity is contained in these lines, if we have but the eyes to see. So take out your Bibles today and revisit the beginning of 1 Corinthians. It will tell you pretty much everything essential that you need to know about yourself and your mission.”

Isaiah and Paul

Also from Bishop Barron. “This week’s readings reveal Isaiah and Paul as missionaries, as evangelists. Isaiah’s mission is to unite the people of Israel, and then spread the same light the the rest of the world. Paul recognizes that Christ is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s mission and offers himself as a servant of that fulfillment.”

What Is God’s Will and Plan for Me?

Why does John the Baptist say that he doesn’t know Jesus? They are cousins. Perhaps John doesn’t know that Jesus is the Son of God? He clearly knows that Jesus is special, but he doesn’t have the full revelation. But John is following God’s will and pointing people to Jesus. He is not caught up in understanding God’s plan.

More Thoughts for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Today’s readings pick up where the readings for the feast of the Baptism of Jesus left off.

Called In the Womb

We continue reading the Servant Songs from Isaiah. These were written during the Babylonian exile and provided hope for a people who had been ripped away from their homeland. This servant was called from the womb. This call before birth is also reflected by Jeremiah and by Paul. It points out that we have a bond with God from the time of conception.

The Lamb of God

John points out that Jesus is the Lamb of God, a sacrifice for our restoration. When we pray the “Lamb of God” at Mass, we should remember that Jesus willingly gave his life for us so that we could be redeemed. This tremendous act shows that all human life has dignity in the eyes of God.

Reflection Questions for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

  • Do I value all human life, from womb to tomb?
  • Am I aware of how much God loves all people, including the unborn, the homeless, the aged, the prisoner, the migrant, and all of those who are looked down upon by others?
  • What can I do today to affirm the dignity of another person?

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’

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One response to “2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (2023)”

  1. Michael ODUSANWO Avatar
    Michael ODUSANWO

    A nourishing reflection you have offered. Thanks for this theological explanation.

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