Voce mea ad Dominum

Random thoughts from an amateur theologist.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ecce Agnus Dei!

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.” - John 1:35-36

St. John in his writings often refers to Jesus as the "Lamb of God." St. John wants to use images of the Jewish Passover to define who Jesus is, and for this reason, Jesus is seen as the lamb without blemish who is sacrificed for the sins of the world. If you really think about it, the image of Jesus as a lamb fits well in the paradoxical scheme of things which is the life of Christ. After all, a lamb is meek and will not put up a fight. It is weak. Similarly, Jesus is meek and accepts his fate without putting up a fight. He appears to be weak, but through his sacrifice, we realize that the appearance is deceptive. In completely emptying himself, Jesus accomplished in one sacrifice something which could never be accomplished through the multitude of animal sacrifices which had been performed for millenia. In his perfect sacrifice, Jesus shows us an inner strength which is transforming, transforming weakness into strength, shame into honor, death into life. Through this single transforming sacrifice, Jesus, the Lamb of God, takes away the sin of the world.

This also is a segue from the Baptist's call for conversion which leads to forgiveness of sins to Jesus' actually accomplishing this forgiveness through his death on the cross. St. John the Baptist directs two of his disciples to follow Jesus, the salvation of humanity, and in so doing, he fulfills his role of preparing the way for the Lord. He provides the reason for his decreasing while Christ increases: that Jesus is the Lamb of God. May we all heed the Baptist's call for conversion and listen to him as he reveals to us the "Lamb of God."

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us.


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