John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
Emmanuel, Messiah, Savior and Prince of Peace were some of the titles of Jesus that we reflected on during the Christmas season. Today, we refect on Jesus as the Lamb of God, the only title of Jesus used during the Mass. We hear these familiar words each time the priest elevates the consecrated Host and says: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” We respond: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
The title “Lamb of God” brings to mind a picture of Jesus carrying a little lamb to safety in His arms. The lamb who was lost, but now found. We are that lamb – lost in sin, in need of the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. We seek Jesus in His mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He gives us grace in this sacrament to help us not to stray away again.
When John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus as the “Lamb of God”, he had in mind the image of a sacrificial lamb. The Book of Exodus describes how the priests offered the sacrificial lambs in the temple for the sins of the people. Jesus Christ, the Son of God is the only one who could save us from our sins.
Then I heard the voices of every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea; everything in the universe cried aloud: “To the One seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, be praise and honor, glory and might forever and ever!” (Rev5:13) We give glory and praise to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God! Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: I will make you a light to the nations that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
…to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy. These words that St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians are meant for us as well. The Holy Spirit sanctified us at our Baptism. God calls each one of us to holiness. Let us renew our commitment to live this call to holiness each moment in our thoughts, words and actions! – only possible through the Lamb of God, who took away our sins!
Blessings for the new year!