Gospel Reflection for Sunday January 19th 2020
Jesus the Lamb of God
In some way, our gospel today is a continuation of last Sunday’s when Jesus was baptised. It begins, ‘The next day, (John) saw Jesus coming towards him and said, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world…I saw the Spirit descending on him like a dove.’ He finishes the gospel with this great proclamation;
‘I myself have seen and testify (that) this is the Chosen One of God.’
Again, Jesus is being publicly acknowledged and announced by John; this is John’s role and vocation. He is the herald and witness who asks us to prepare a way for the Lord. John is a message in time; Jesus on the other hand is the Word for Eternity. John, while recognising his own mission says of himself; I am not worthy to untie his sandals; he must increase and I must decrease. This is not about John thinking less of himself, but rather appreciating humbly his role in being the messenger of God who leads and points people and us today to Jesus.
The two titles that John gives Jesus; Lamb of God and Chosen One of God are important. They are not just names, they are what Jesus does and who he is. They describe his identity and his mission. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world because he is the Chosen One of God.
When we were baptised, we become one with Jesus in his life, death and resurrection which also includes the forgiveness of our sins. Through the waters and blessing of baptism we are washed, made new and cleansed. Then we, as his followers, like John are called to be the messengers and witnesses of Jesus. Being baptised gives us the right to call ourselves sons and daughters of God; it also gives us the responsibility of living as witnesses to Jesus and of being his followers and friends in our daily lives.
Pope Francis reminds us of this when he says; ‘Because of their baptism, all members of the People of God have now become missionary disciples…. We no longer say that we are missionaries or that we are disciples. But rather that we are always ‘missionary disciples’. (The Joy of the Gospel: 120).
Our vocation as disciples of Jesus is twofold; firstly to hear the word of God that he speaks to us and then secondly to live this word in our daily lives as his witnesses in the world. It is through the quality of our lives that we give witness to Jesus. It is said that we live our faith more through our actions and what we do rather than what we say.
What do my actions and the quality of my daily life tell and show others about relationship with Jesus?
-Br Michael Moore OMI
Gospel for January 19th : John 1:29-34 ©
John the Baptist announces the One who will baptise us with the Holy Spirit
John saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptising with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” John also testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptise with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptises with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
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