2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

01-15-2023Weekly Reflection©LPi

When I was a kid, I remember the priest at Mass announcing, “The Lamb of God!” Frankly, it struck me as nonsense. I thought: Why in the world does God have a lamb? And where is this lamb? 

John the Baptist sees Jesus coming toward him and announces, “Behold the lamb of God.” His Jewish listeners knew what he meant. God’s lamb is the thing that is sacrificed at the Jewish Passover and consumed by the participants. For almost a thousand years, lambs were ritually slaughtered and eaten in Jerusalem at Passover. The lamb meant sacrifice, freedom from sin, and communion with God. The Baptist is saying in effect, “This man will be ritually sacrificed and consumed so that God’s people may be free from sin and united to God.” 

It’s crucial to relate to Jesus as a friend, brother, teacher, and Lord of our lives. But we should also learn to interact with Him as our lamb of God. That means we intentionally place on him our sins, sadnesses, and hopes, and offer him to God. Then we consume him to make us free. This is what we do at every Mass. That’s why he is the Lamb of God.

- Father John Muir