“Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world”
“Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” These are the words of John the Baptist over 2000 years ago. We hear these words every week when the priest lifts up the consecrated host and the consecrated wine (which are now the Body and Blood of Christ right before we receive Holy 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 pray “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
What was John thinking about when he said these words? What are we thinking about when we hear these words? Most likely, John was thinking of the Passover Lamb. The Passover feast was not very far away. The old story of the Passover was that it was the blood of the slain lamb which protected the houses of the Israelites on the night when they left Egypt. On that night when the Angel of Death walked around and slew the firstborn of the Egyptians, the Israelites were to smear their doorposts with the blood of the slain lamb and the Angel of Death seeing the blood, would pass over that house. The blood of the lamb delivered the Israelites from destruction that night. Ultimately, the Blood of the Lamb would enable them to be delivered from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land.
John saw true deliverance from slavery to sin and death in Jesus who would be the Passover Lamb, who would decisively deliver us from slavery to sin and death by giving up His life for us. As we all know the Blood of the Savior which was sprinkled on the wood of the cross set us ultimately free from slavery to sin and death and opened up for us the doors to eternal life.
Every time we celebrate a Sacrament we come into contact with the Blood of Christ that was shed for us over 2,000 years ago. In some mysterious way, we encounter both the dying and rising of Jesus at every Mass. We encounter the Passover Lamb who enables us to become free from what troubles us, what enslaves us, what keeps us down and what keeps us from becoming the people that God wants us to be.
We come into contact with both the person and the saving work of Jesus Christ. When we talk of the Paschal Mystery, we are talking about the dying and rising of Jesus Christ. In some remarkable way that Blood that was shed for us over 2,000 years ago can now be applied to us to help us make our daily Passovers from sin to grace.
The actual beholding of the Lamb of God is an ever deepening process to focus more fully on the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Hopefully as we encounter him more fully and encounter his saving work more deeply, we can be transformed. We can embrace a Paschal Mystery spirituality. Every day I can ask myself, “What am I called to die to? What am I called to rise to?” Perhaps I realize that I have anger, resentment, bitterness within myself. I am called to die to anger, resentment and bitterness. Then I am called to rise to forgiveness.
Maybe I am a person who is closed to other points of view. Possibly I am called to let go of my judgements and rise to the grace of understanding. It could be that I lack patience. I may be called to die to impatience and rise to patience.
Hopefully, today with hearts full of wonder and gratitude, we can more deeply focus upon the Lamb of God and received the power to change our lives for the better. We could live out Paschal Mystery spirituality by frequently asking “What am I called to die to? What am I called to rise to?” In a sense, human life can be understood as a series of many little deaths as we die to sin and many little resurrections as we rise to grace. The Blood of the Lamb enables us to go through this process so that we can become more fully the people whom God wants us to be.
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May our prayers bring healing, comfort and strength to the sick and their caregivers.
Mary Adams, Tim Angelone,
Greg Basco, Gwen Beres,
Mary Ann Betliskey, Bill Bican,
Joyce Bican, Phillip Bilelo,
Noella Burrows, Donna Czyzynski, Corrine Dawe, Angelo DeNova,
Olivia Donovan, Jose Dybzinski,
Jason Glaros, Kristin Hill,
Millie Jasany, Lucy Konkoly,
Tom Konkoly, Judy Landolph,
Bishop Richard Lennon, Art Madsen, Cindi Magyar, Dorothy Mangan,
Erin Mangan, Rose Meadows, Jeanette Miller, Marguerite Miller, Jeannette Morrow, Louis Novac,
Art Novotny, Dan Palmentera,
John Pocius, Betty Rhine, Brianna Rhine, Elaine Stack,
Rev. John Tezie, Ed Vitigoj, Ron Walk and David Zelenka
May our Loved Ones who have died rest in eternal peace in heaven remembering especially Joseph Zelenka, Brother of Ann Marie Zelenka whose funeral was last week.
For the Men and Women serving in the military, especially those from our parish & their families.
|Sunday, January 15th||2628.65|
|St. Vincent de Paul Society||100.00|
|Solemnity of Mary||30.00|