Jesuit Father Adrien Lentiampa Shenge introduces us to meditation, with the readings for the second Sunday of liturgical year A.
Is 49, 3.5-6
Ps 39 (40), 2abc.4ab, 7-8a, 8b-9, 10cd.11cd
1 Co 1, 1-3
Jn 1, 29-34
Dear brothers and sisters,
After having inaugurated the ordinary time with the celebration of the baptism of our Lord, the readings of this second Sunday continue to instruct us on the identity of Jesus and invite us to find in him the strength and the hope for our daily life. .
Indeed, last Sunday, to show who Jesus is, a voice was heard during his baptism, and designated him as the “Beloved son of the Father, in whom he finds all his joy”. Today, it is the turn of John the Baptist to present it to his disciples, and therefore to each of us. He refers to it as “the Lamb of God, he who takes away the sin of the world”. A formula that is familiar to us, since we repeat it at each Eucharistic celebration.
But what can this designation of Jesus by John the Baptist mean for us? In the Jewish tradition, the evocation of the lamb refers to the exit of the people of Israel from the slavery of Egypt: it is the lamb whose blood marks the belonging to the chosen people. This image of the lamb then crystallized in the Jewish feast of “Yom Kippur»the celebration of “Great forgivenessduring which the Jewish people are purified of their sins, under the symbol of an expiatory lamb.
In the mouth of John the Baptist, this designation takes on another dimension. Indeed, the lamb being a very docile animal – symbol of innocence – which lets itself be done and does not respond to violence, to say of Jesus that he is “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”, it is to recognize in him the one who bears, who bears all our sins. It is precisely on his cross that Jesus realizes this liberation of each one of us from the weight of our sins.
This designation therefore signifies that, by his death and resurrection, Jesus frees humanity from the spiral of evil which has reduced it to slavery. With him, sin is no longer a fatality, because already defeated on the wood of the cross. Thus, from now on, if man remains grafted to this wood of the cross, if he entrusts his life to Christ and allows himself to be guided by the spirit of his baptism, he will taste the full freedom reserved for the children of God.
This is why, just as hearing John the Baptist designate Jesus as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world“, his disciples understood who Jesus really was and began to follow him, in the same way, for us too, this designation should refer us to the experience made before Jesus on the cross: he died for our sins. It is this experience that makes us follow the Lord. Not so much by imitation, but because we feel that this is where our happiness and our salvation lies; because we feel and realize that this is where the true meaning of our lives lies.
Let us therefore ask the Lord that, throughout this new year, we may place ourselves constantly and decisively under the banner of this “spotless lamb», and that we allow ourselves to be enlightened by his light which leads us to our salvation.
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Meditation for the 2nd Ordinary Sunday A: “Behold the Lamb of God” – Vatican News
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