Body and Blood of Christ

Lectio

Drinking Well

2nd Sunday
The Lamb

 

Seeing Jesus coming towards him, John said, “Look, there is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. This is the one I spoke of when I said. ‘A man is coming after me who ranks before me, because he existed before me.

                                                                               

John 1: 29-30.

 


Lectio

W

hat are the sins of the world that you are most aware of? What are the ones that upset you the most? We hear about violent crimes and murder, drug pushing on the streets and bullying at school and in the work place; crimes against children and dishonesty in business dealings. On the international scene innocent people are massacred or driven from their homes; the poor of the world are cruelly exploited by the rich and deprived of the basic necessities of life. Closer to home are the sins, the faults and failings of the people we live with. And last but not least are our own sins!

So much sin and so much evil – what is the solution? The New Testament gives a strange answer: a lamb. A lamb that takes away the sin of the world. Are you familiar with lambs? When we look at lambs in a field in the spring, we are struck by their gentleness, their playfulness, their innocence, and also by their vulnerability - they are not big enough to defend themselves. How could a lamb take on the evils of the world? If it was a lion it could attack the evil people and defend itself against them.

People were joyful in His Presence 
     

John the Baptist described Jesus as a lamb. Jesus was gentle and innocent. He was playful too; Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx, who studied and mediated on the life of Jesus for many years, concluded that the people who followed Jesus as he travelled the roads of his native land, could not but have been joyful in His presence. Jesus wanted to bring about the rule of an incredibly loving Father in his own country first, and in due time, in the whole world. When people accepted this rule, they would be at peace with God, with their own selves, with one another, and with nature. This would be “The Kingdom of God”. And while it would only reach its completion in the next world, it would nonetheless transform this world.

Jesus always non-violent                                                                         
He was courageous and honest in challenging those who opposed him, but he was always non-violent. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told Peter, “Put your sword in its scabbard.” His way was the way of the lamb, not the way of the lion. It became clear to Jesus that to bring about the rule of his Father, he must confront the authorities in Jerusalem even though this would put his life in danger. He had given everything he had; now he would give his life. “He was led like an innocent lamb to the slaughter.”

When his Father raised Jesus from the dead on Easter morning, he guaranteed that it is the lamb and not the lion that will take away the sins of the world.

In the footsteps of the Lamb
Down through the centuries, the followers of Jesus have not always remembered this; during the Jubilee Year, Pope John Paul apologized on various occasions for acts of violence committed by Christians. But there have always been good people who have followed in the footsteps of the Lamb of God.  St. Martin de Porres is a striking example. We also think of our missionaries and aid workers who serve with humility and respect and often stay at their posts at considerable danger to themselves. Fr. Rufus Halley from Waterford lived among the people in a troubled area in the Philippines, where he was frequently threatened by extremist Muslims. All the while he worked tirelessly to convince them that God is one and that all people are his children and can live peacefully together.

He was so highly esteemed for the respect and love he showed, that he was invited on one occasion to mediate in a dispute between two factions in the Muslim community. When he was murdered in 2001, he was mourned by the Muslim and Catholic communities alike.

We all know people who are gentle as a lamb. Not that they never feel anger or impatience, but they make a deliberate choice not to be lions in the way they treat others. We know innocent people who have endured a lot of suffering with courage and faith. Organizations also act in this way; we think of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Simon Community and l’Arche. Likewise there are small communities working for justice and the rights of the poor in many countries; sometimes they face opposition and violence, yet they continue to follow non-violently the way of the Lamb.
Only Jesus, the Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world, but he lives in all these people and through them continues to take away the sins of our world today.

Brendan Clifford



Prayer:
                                                                              

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.

 


 

Quill Pen

Lectio Divina

Gospel Passages
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Lectio

 

 

 

 

Winter

The Lamb

 

The Icons are from the Dominican Monastery, Siena, Drogheda

 

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Unfolding the story of jesus