Jan 19 2020 Reflection
Sunday 19 January 2020
First Reading: IS 49:3, 5-6
Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
PS 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10
Second Reading: 1 COR 1:1-3
Gospel Reading: JN 1:29-34
Today’s Note: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
“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.’
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel.”
John testified further, saying,
“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven
and remain upon him.
I did not know him,
but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)
We hear these words at every Mass as the Host and Chalice are raised for all to see. They are so familiar that perhaps they have lost some of their force. So let’s take a closer look at this marvelous invitation.
Behold. Don’t just glance. Behold. Look deeply, carefully, and prayerfully. Look with the expectation that you will discover something important. Trust that Jesus wants to reveal himself to you.
Behold, the Lamb of God. What are you beholding? God’s greatest gift to the world—to you. You are beholding Jesus, the one true sacrifice sent from heaven. He is the spotless Lamb, innocent of all sin and meek and gentle of heart. He is the fulfillment of ancient Israel’s Passover celebration. He has come so that you can pass over from death to life, from slavery to freedom.
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away sin. Look closely. See in this Host the promise of forgiveness. See Jesus, who surrendered his body and blood on a cross for you. See Jesus, who has taken your very sin upon himself and brought it into the grave with him. See him rising again, leaving your sin behind in that grave, where it remains today, dead and buried. You are no longer bound by it. Jesus has borne it away, and you can walk away from it too—step by halting step as you continue to place your faith in him.
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Not just your sin, but the sin of every single person on earth, past, present, and future. No one is beyond his reach. No one is devoid of hope. Everyone can know forgiveness and freedom. Even the people you are struggling to forgive. Behold him, and believe that he can bring reconciliation and healing to all people.
Behold, the Lamb of God! And receive him with joy and an open heart.
“Lord, I am not worthy. Only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.”