1.Isaiah 49:3; 5-6
2.1Corinthians 1:1-3
Gospel: John1:29-34

      " The Spirit of Jesus is the  back bone  to our spiritual life."

When we celebrate the second Sunday of the liturgical year ordinary time year A,  we need to ask ourselves this question, how could our church today stand without the spirit of Jesus? we can understand that the first Christian communities saw a clear difference between John's baptism, the baptism that involved in immersing people in the water of river Jordan, and Jesus' baptism that communicated his own spirit, to cleanse, renew and transform the heart of his followers. Then coming our question above the answer would be;  without that spirit of Jesus, the Church could simply close up shop and die. Only the spirit of Jesus can put more truth and life in today's Christianity. Only his Spirit can lead us to recover our true identity, letting go of paths that lead us further and further away from the gospel values. Only that Spirit can give us light and energy to fire up  the renewal that the Church needs today.

Dear brother and sisters, in the gospel John is giving us a new teaching concerning our relationship to Christ. John in his gospel teaches us that ' the way to the father is through Jesus Christ. What has been taking place in the old testament including ceremonies and sacrifices have come to an end because Jesus is our way to the Father. Just as the lamb's blood spared the Hebrews before they left Egypt so now it is the blood of Jesus that saves us from our sins. It is under this back ground John proclaimed, " Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!" ( John1:29).

We can make the comparison between the Baptism of John and that of Jesus. The baptism of Jesus is for the New Covenant and effects a change in our soul forever. God's presence left His Spirit for us and that spirit descended on Jesus in the form of dove. Jesus gives us that spirit when we are sealed forever in the Sacrament of Baptism. When we are baptized we are profoundly changed. The change is so great that  the quality of our soul is transformed.

In the gospel reading we hear John in his gospel pointing Jesus as the " Lamb" in our ordinary understanding the word " Lamb" gives us an impression of someone who is passive, someone " meek and mild". However, we are challenged that Jesus was not that kind of person, thus we need another image of the lamb portrayed to Jesus. A " Lamb" who is powerful and energetic and effectively " takes away" sin from our community. In fact this is the biblical image, not one we are accustomed to using;  we may have to turn to other bible texts in order to enter into it.

The Biblical tradition stresses two aspects of the Lamb. First, his blood is shed as the source of life to others. This image of the lamb that John has presented to us in the gospel traces its root from the book of exodus here with have the model of the lamb whose blood was sprinkled on the door posts on the night of the Exodus ( Ex 12:7, 23). From this image of the lamb we get a lesson about self sacrifice for the sake of others, therefore, it is under this back ground we can say that Leaders are "lambs" to the extent that they are ready to accept the sufferings involved in leadership. However, this is not to say that suffering is a value in itself ( as most of us have often thought). What it tells us is that true leaders do not stand aloof and are not afraid to make themselves vulnerable. Suffering makes sense in the context whereby leaders accept the suffering that goes with leadership example being criticized unfairly; being disappointed in people; the occasional failure.

We have an image of the lamb that is not violent. This is well expressed in Isaiah 53:7, " Harshly dealt with bore it humbly, he never opened his mouth, like a lamb that is led to the slaughter-house, like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers, never opening his mouth." In this context, we have two fold images of the lamb: 1.The Messiah would be both the sacrificial lamb to atone for sin and 2. the suffering servant. Leaders who are " lambs" are prepared to suffer violence against themselves, but refuse to inflict violence on anyone, certainly on those whom they lead.

We must not forget that this image of evokes victory. The book of Revelation highlights this notion picturing the Lamb surrounded by angels, the " living creatures," and the elders, who cried out, " Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and praise!" ( Revelation5:12). Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords ( Revelation17:14) who will be victorious against the powers of evil and will invite the righteous to the wedding feast of the Lamb( Revelation 19:9), the union of the Church, the new Jerusalem, in heaven with the Lord.

It is under this background that during the Holy mass we sing Agnus Dei ( lamb of God). The hymn is sung during  the breaking of the consecrated Host. St. John Chrysostom (d.407) preached how the fraction symbolized the Passion of Christ: " What Christ did not suffer on the Cross, He suffers in the sacrifice for thee." The hymn itself invokes Christ and recalls His sacrificial death with overtones of a hymn of victory of the triumphal Lamb. This belief is then emphasized again when the priest holds up the fractured Host and says, " This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, happy are those who are called to his supper."( Or in a literal translation of the Latin, " Happy are those who are called to the supper of the Lamb," better reflecting the imagery of Revelation.

As we celebrate the mysteries of the Mass, we look to the Lamb who suffered, died, and rose for our salvation. We must gather around the altar of the Lamb, offering to Him our own hearts and pledging to be His servants, so that we may welcome Him and become wedded to Him in the Holy Eucharist.

Related Posts:


Chapisha Maoni