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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Sunday 2nd (A) in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Isa 49:3.5-6): The Lord said to me: You are my servant, Israel, through whom I show my glory. Now the Lord has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, that Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; and I am made glorious in the sight of the Lord, and my God is now my strength! It is too little, the Lord says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
Responsorial Psalm: 39
R/. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the Lord, and he stooped toward me and heard my cry. And he put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God.

Sacrifice or offering you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not; then said I, ‘Behold I come’.

«In the written scroll it is prescribed for me, to do your will, o my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!».

I announced your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, o Lord, know.
2nd Reading (1Cor 1:1-3): Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, to the church of God that is in Corinth, to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy, with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 1:14a.12a): Alleluia. The Word o God became flesh and dwelt among us. To those who accepted him, he gave power to become children of God. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Jn 1,29-34): The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, «There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. It is he of whom I said: A man comes after me who is already ahead of me, for he was before me. I myself did not know him, but I came baptizing to prepare for him, so that he might be revealed in Israel».

And John also gave this testimony, «I saw the Spirit coming down on him like a dove from heaven and resting on him. I myself did not know him but God who sent me to baptize told me: ‘You will see the Spirit coming down and resting on the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit’. Yes, I have seen! and I declare that this is the Chosen One of God».

«There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world»

Fr. Joaquim FORTUNY i Vizcarro (Cunit, Tarragona, Spain)

Today, when seeing Jesus, we have heard John saying «There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world» (Jn 1:29). What may all those people have thought? And, what do we think, ourselves? In the celebration of the Eucharist we all pray «Lamb of God who remove the sins of the world / have mercy on us». And the priest invites the congregation to the Communion, by saying: «There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world...».

When John said, «this is the Lamb of God» we should have no doubts they all understood what he meant, as the lamb is a metaphor of messianic character that prophets like Isaiah had already used, and it was very well known to the good Israelites.

On the other hand, the lamb is the animal Israelites sacrifice to celebrate their Passover, marking freedom for the Israelites from the Egyptian slavery. The Pasch dinner consists of eating a lamb.

And even the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church state hat the lamb is a sign of purity, simplicity, goodness, mansuetude, innocence... And Christ is Purity, Simplicity, Goodness, Mansuetude and Innocence. Saint Peter will say: «For you know that it was not with perishable things (…) but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect» (1Pet 1:18.19). And St. John, in the Revelation uses thirty times the word “lamb” to describe Christ. Jesus Christ is the lamb who takes away the sins of the world, which has been immolated to give us Grace. Let us fight to always live by Grace, to fight against sin, to hate it. The beauty Grace gives to the soul is so great that no treasure can compare with it. It makes us agreeable to God and worthy of being loved. This is why, the “Gloria” of the Mass mentions the peace of those men the Lord loves, of those who live by Grace.

John Paul II tells us, while urging us to live by the Grace the lamb has given us: «Pledge to live by the Grace. Jesus was born at Bethlehem precisely for that reason (...). To live by Grace is the supreme dignity, the ineffable joy, the guarantee of peace, the marvelous ideal».