Scripture Notes – Sunday 17th January 2021

 ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’

Sunday 2B21 (17 January 2021)

After the Christmas break, I’ve resumed the practice of a dedicated online exploration of the Sunday Gospel.

  • Exploration of the Gospel (YouTube)
  • Exploration of the Gospel (Zoom)


The Gospel for the Sunday after the Baptism follows the ancient tradition of three epiphanies (the Magi, the Baptism and Cana). As a result, we hear from the Gospel of John rather than from Mark, as we might have expected. This is slightly odd but useful because we get to hear John 1:35-42, the only time this Gospel is heard on a Sunday.

On a very surface level, this is a plain narrative of calling. But read within the context of John 1:1-2:11 and with an eye to the Gospel as a whole, this particular reading opens up a world of richness and relevance. Beneath the surface, a deeply human reality is explored:

  • the recognition of the hungers of the heart
  • the consequent search or quest or pilgrimage
  • an openness to encountering the Risen Lord
  • a re-shaping of life as proclamation, as mission

Even more, these verses are part of John 1, a chapter which places before the reader the richest possible understanding of Jesus — breathtakingly comprehensive. An attempt at exploring this may be found in the YouTube video for this Sunday.

Wishing you all every blessing and good health in these difficult days,