The second reading for today’s Mass ties in closely with the overall theme of election, or calling: initiated in the servant, fulfilled in Jesus, and continued in every Christian and the church as a whole. This election results in our forgiveness and is also the source of our mission. The servant theme is also continued in the church’s ministry. We are all “called to be saints” as St Paul affirms in his letter to the Corinthian church, in other words to live lives of holiness and godliness, because we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, as a result of our baptism.
We so easily forget that our election carries with it a real sense of responsibility. Our call signifies a consecration or sacredness before the Lord. It also means that we have been forgiven. Yet the Christian life is not restricted to the sanctuary. The servant in our first reading today was missioned, as was Jesus. St Paul, in our second reading, identifies himself as an apostle, i.e. one who is sent. The same is true of us, sent to the neighbourhood, the workplace, the town or the city. We are called to bring a deep commitment to Christian values to spread the good news of Christ’s love for all his people. Like John the Baptist in today’s gospel reading from St John, we are called to point to Jesus as the Son of God, the one who came to bring true life, eternal life, supernatural life, into the world.