18 Jan 2020

This Week Letter – January 19, 2020

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“Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world…” (Jn 1:29)

We repeat the above words contained in the testimony of St. John the Baptist at every Mass.  These words are the same answer John gave the Pharisees who asked if he was the Messiah.  For the most part, however, they confirm the truth revealed by God the Father Himself in these words:  “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Mt.3:17).  John’s testimony, then, is his heart’s answer upon hearing the voice of God.  Jesus, presented by the Father as His beloved Son, is now shown as an innocent lamb who will be offered in propitiation for sin.  Thus is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah regarding our redemption and deliverance.  Through his sacrifice, he becomes a light to all mankind, in Him is revealed the glory of God.  “You are my servant, In you, Israel, I show my glory…I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Is.49:3,6)  Today, we are participants in this promise.

John’s testimony also was a sign of the beginning and purpose of Jesus’ mission for which the expected Messiah came:  “…the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” (Jn.1:31)   Just as the blood of a lamb saved the nation of Israel coming out of Egyptian captivity during the time of Moses, so in the New Testament, the Lamb of God is sacrificed and His Blood saves God’s people once again!

Every day during the Eucharistic sacrifice, when everyone repeats the acclamation Behold the Lamb of God” before Communion, we participate in the very moment of Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary.  This moment of Christ’s death on the cross, this moment of our cleansing in his wounds , this is the moment of the origination of  the Sacraments of the Church. (Easter Liturgy)

Let us give thanks then for this great gift and through faith let us have the courage to draw so much from the stream of grace that our transformed life might be an actualization of the words of John.    May our lips proclaim: “Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.” (Jn.1:34)


Roman Harmata, PA