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Behold the Lamb of God, Who Takes Away the Sins of the World


As we return to Ordinary Time, our Gospel already begins making ready us for the subsequent nice seasons of the liturgical calendar—Lent and Easter.  How?

Gospel (Read Jn 1:29-34)

“John the Baptist noticed Jesus coming towards him and mentioned, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world.’”  We heard from the Baptist often throughout Advent, which is what we would anticipate in a liturgical season given to preparation for the approaching of the Messiah.  Now that we’re within the lengthy season of Ordinary Time, which takes us by Jesus’ preaching of the Kingdom of God, why is John’s voice in our ears once more?

When John the Baptist identifies Jesus as “the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world,” he each summarizes and anticipates the course of salvation historical past.  Going all the way in which again to the story of Abraham and Isaac on Mt. Moriah, we recall that God requested Abraham to sacrifice his son.  As weird because the request should have appeared, Abraham was keen to obey.  On the trek up the mountain, Isaac requested the heart-piercing query, “My father!  Behold, the hearth and the wooden; however the place is the lamb for a burnt providing?”  We can solely think about how troublesome it was for Abraham to make his reply: “God will present Himself the lamb … my son” (see Gn 22:7-8).  In their speedy scenario, Abraham was prevented from sacrificing Isaac and was led, as an alternative, to a ram caught by its head in a thicket—in different phrases, a lamb carrying a “crown” of thorns.

Later, when the Israelites had been held in bondage in Egypt by a merciless Pharaoh, it was the slaughter of the Passover lambs and the liturgical meal of their our bodies that freed them for his or her journey dwelling to the Promised Land.  This historic occasion was so foundational within the Jews’ historical past that God commanded it to be celebrated yearly with out fail.  The lamb of sacrifice was an abiding actuality for God’s covenant folks.

After a few years of life within the Promised Land and a few years of willful disobedience by His folks, God promised, by the prophet, Isaiah, that sometime He would ship His Servant to make proper all that had gone improper.  He would offer the Lamb Himself.  This Servant would accomplish His mission by struggling and demise; He could be an harmless lamb slain for the sins of others (see Isa 53:7-12; CCC 608).

So, when John the Baptist sees Jesus approaching, he identifies Him as this long-awaited Lamb, and he makes specific the aim of His mission—to grow to be a sacrifice that can take away the sin of the world.  John additionally alludes to the mysterious divinity of this Lamb:  “He is the one in every of whom I mentioned, ‘A person is coming after me who ranks forward of me as a result of He existed earlier than me.’”  This Lamb will not be like another of God’s servants who’ve appeared all through salvation historical past, together with John himself.  No, this Lamb existed from earlier than all time, and His look signifies that now sin could be forgiven and the human soul, in baptism, could be stuffed with the Holy Spirit.  This fulfills God’s authentic intention when He created man and lady: “Let us make man in Our picture, after Our likeness” (see Gn 1:26).  John, whom Jesus described as the best of all of the prophets, provides his highly effective witness to the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, the preaching of the Kingdom of God, celebrated in Ordinary Time:  “Now, I’ve seen and testified that He is the Son of God.”

Then, let His preaching start.

Possible response:  Lord Jesus, You got here to provide Yourself for me and all different sinners, the undeserving.  Thank You for this sacrifice and for the brand new life it means for us.

First Reading (Read Isa 49:3, 5-6)

God speaks by His prophet, Isaiah, to explain His Servant, Who will accomplish the mission of showing His “glory.”  The Servant will do that by reconciling—bringing again to God—not solely all of the tribes of Israel but additionally the Gentiles:  “I’ll make You a lightweight to the nations, that my salvation might attain to the ends of the earth.”  In the chapters following this passage, God says that His Servant will do His work by permitting Himself to be killed and making His demise into an providing for sin.  Hundreds of years later, Jesus would seem in Mary’s womb and develop as much as grow to be this sacrifice.  His struggling would present forth God’s glory.  How?  To see Jesus settle for His demise willingly on our behalf is to behold the depths of God’s love for us.  

“Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world.”

Possible response:  Heavenly Father, how arduous it’s typically to see how struggling can grow to be a technique to see Your glory, but that is usually how You reveal Yourself.  Please give me eyes that see.

Psalm (Read Ps 40:2, 4, 7-10)

This is a “new music” that, in a prophetic manner, is the music Jesus, the Lamb of God, may sing in “the huge meeting” of God’s folks.  It describes what God desires in His servant: “Sacrifice or providing You wished not, however ears open to obedience You gave Me.  Holocausts or sin-offerings You sought not; then mentioned I, ‘Behold, I come.’”  This signifies that the liturgical rites of Israel’s faith, carried out with out accompanying covenant obedience, had been empty.  God’s Servant would embrace His will wholeheartedly: “ … to do Your will, O My God, is My delight, and Your regulation is inside My coronary heart.”

As we’re baptized into Jesus, by water and the Holy Spirit, we’re those that can now additionally sing: “Here am I, Lord; I come to do Your will.”

Possible response:  The psalm is, itself, a response to our different readings.  Read it once more prayerfully to make it your personal.

Second Reading (Read 1 Cor 1:1-3)

St. Paul writes to his Christian associates in Corinth in phrases that assist us to see so clearly what the sacrifice of the Lamb of God has achieved for all of the baptized.  We have been “sanctified in Christ Jesus, referred to as to be holy, with all these in every single place who name upon the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.”  In His self-offering, the Suffering Servant has grow to be a lightweight to all of the nations, simply as Isaiah prophesied, reconciling the entire world to the Father by religion in Him.  What is the fruit of this religion?  St. Paul tells us that it’s “grace and peace.”  Grace is God’s energy in our lives to do for us what we can not do for ourselves; peace is the reward that involves us after we imagine this.

“Behold, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world”—mine and yours.

Possible response:  Lord Jesus, “grace and peace” will make all of the distinction in my life today.  Help me obtain these presents with gratitude.

Image by jorisvo on Shutterstock



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