Theme: “BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD, BEHOLD HIM WHO TAKES AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD.”
- Isaiah 49:3. 5-6;
- Psalm 39:2. 4. 7-10. R/ vv. 8. 9;
- 1 Corinthians 1:1-3
- John 1:29-34
1. Today is the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A. The gospel today tells us that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! The gospel also tells us that he will baptize us with the Holy Spirit! Finally, the gospel tells us that he is the Chosen One of God, that is, he is the Suffering Servant of God (Is 42:1; CSB)!
The three themes are related, that is, Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world by baptizing us with the Holy Spirit! He baptizes us with the Holy Spirit by being the Suffering Servant of God who suffers, dies, rises from the dead and gives us the Holy Spirit!
2. The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us about the Suffering Servant of God. In fact it is the second of four Suffering Servant songs of Isaiah! The Suffering Servant does not only love and serve, but he loves and serves until he suffers and sacrifices! In that way he sanctifies and saves the world! Indeed, he does not only save Israel, but he saves the whole world! Thus we read in the first reading:
“It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Is 49:6; Sunday Missal (SM))
3. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. Thus we responded four times:
“Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will.” (Ps 39:8. 9; SM)
The response is taken from verses 8 and 9 of the psalm, but to understand the response we must also take verse 7 of the psalm. Thus we read:
“You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings, but an open ear. You do not ask for holocaust and victim. Instead, here am I. In the scroll of the book it stands written that I should do your will.” (Ps 39:7-9; SM)
The letter to the Hebrews interprets this as Christ’s self-oblation! (Heb 10:5-9; CSB; NJB) That is, we do not need animal sacrifice, we do not need cereal offerings; Jesus is the sacrifice, he is the offering, he is the self-oblation! He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Thus at Mass at the “Breaking Of The Bread” we say:
“Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.”
Peace, Shalom, Salvation!
Thus at Mass at “Communion”, the priest says:
“Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.”
And we respond:
“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
Healed does not only mean cured, but it also means health, wholeness, soundness, completeness, well-being, perfection, lacking nothing, happiness, prosperity, etc.! In short, “shalom”, which in the New Testament means Salvation!
Again, at “Communion”, the priest says:
“The Body of Christ.”
And we answer:
“Amen” does not only mean “So be it!”, but “Amen” means above all “certainly, truly, surely, or simply yes”. (DBT) “Amen” is a faith response! We say “Amen” to our Salvation!
4. Thus the caption of the second reading which is taken from the conclusion of the second reading; which is an “apostolic blessing” (HCSB), a “Christians blessing” (Fuller):
“May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ send you grace and peace”. 1 Co 1:3; SM)
Grace, favor, blessing! Peace, shalom, salvation! Salvation is a free gift! Amen!