Jan 15, 2023
Behold the Lamb of God

First Reading (Isaiah 49. 3, 5 – 6) Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 40), Second Reading (1
Corinthians 1. 1 – 3) Gospel (John 1. 29 – 34)
Isaiah was a prophet leading an ordinary life with his people Israel. He bore the consequences of
social and political problems of his period. One day he had to talk about the glory of God; and
on another day about his anger and silence towards his people. He went through the exile and
slavery experiences of those of his community. Yet, he was never discouraged or lost his hope
and faith. Truly he was burnout, as any other ordinary human person. He was tired of his life.
However he kept on moving forward with his life and ministry.

This was possible because, as we heard today in the first reading, he was so close to his God
inside of him, that he could hear the voice of the true God in his inner soul confirming his true
identity: “The Lord called me from birth; from my mother’s womb and he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a
polished arrow. In his quiver he hid me. You are my servant, he said to me, Israel, through
whom I show my glory.” Isaiah held a strong conviction that he was chosen by God, and had
been called by that God from his birth for serving Him. He was confirmed by the same God that,
he would be well taken care of by Him and He would accomplish all that He intended to perform
through him.

The same way Saint Paul in his letter today speaks of his own life, as a call from God to be His
apostle. He invites all his Christians who have been baptized in the name of Jesus to remember,
that they too had been called by the same god to be holy like Jesus and be trustworthy witnesses
for Christ in this world. Let us look at Jesus who is our role-model in leading a journey of
successful life. His birth was as ordinary as anyone’s birth. Out of his thirty three years in a
hidden, ordinary situation at Nazareth doing the ordinary and the routine. Even during those last
three years in public life he was as an ordinary country Galilean and popular. He went about

doing good in justice and love. So as any other Galilean of his time, he was sentenced to death.
He was so ordinary that even John the Baptist had to ask him: “Are you the Messiah or have to
expect another one?” But today as we read in the Gospel, John at the river Jordan was told by his
God in his inner soul, that this Jesus, was the Messiah.

When you hear John the Baptist call Jesus the “Lamb of God,” you might picture a cute baby
sheep leaping in pasture or happily resting on its shepherd’s shoulders. But that can be
confusing. How can Jesus be that kind of lamb?

Israelites in Jesus’ time would have understood what John was getting at. They would likely
have called to mind the feast of Passover. Each year during that feast, every Jewish family
slaughtered and ate an unblemished lamb in remembrance of God bring his people out of slavery
in Egypt.

They might also have thought about Isaiah’s song of the Suffering Servant, who, like a lamb,
silently allowed himself he bore the guilt of us all.

Finally, they might have remembered when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son,
Isaac. As Isaac prepared the wood for the sacrifice, he asked why there was no sheep to offer.
Abraham replied, “God will provide the sheep for the burnt offering” (Gen 22: 8)

John likely had all this in mind when he called Jesus the Lamb of God: Jesus was the sacrifice,
provided by God, who would silently offer his life to redeem us all.

Contemplating Jesus as the Lamb of god gives us an infinite number of reasons to worship him.
We can praise him for delivering us from enslavement to sin. We can ponder what he silently
bore to redeem us. We can bow to him as the perfect sacrifice, provided for us by God himself.
Jesus is so much bigger, so much more committed to us, so much more glorious in his mercy
than we could ever imagine!

Jesus and all his committed followers had such an inner conviction and daily confirmation on
what they were. Thus all that they went through in this valley of tears and in this ocean of
Tsunami waves did not affect their interior joy and peace, nor did they influence them to quit,
from the fights and struggles. God’s inner voice and their conviction made them tough and
strong, to bear any challenges. Finally they were victorious in their personal and inner life even
though, they might have appeared to fail in the eyes of this world. Most of us at one time or
another, in our life, have seen the glory of God; we have witnessed the power of God in nature,
and we have experienced evils from our own human fellow beings. Yet, we see the
manifestation of God in Jesus. Through our Baptism, we have accepted his intimate call to be
His servants and children. With this conviction, let every work we perform be done in
accordance with the will of god and with a simile let us continue to march on and carry one
another’s burden lovingly and try to reach our finish-line victoriously as Jesus the Lamb of God
did. I heard a famous actor uttering the following words at an interview: “I don’t travel in life in
search of my destiny; rather, I travel with my destiny in hands.” Isn’t it a nice thought?

God bless.