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Behold the Lamb of God

{ Tags: , \ Jan4 }

“Behold the Lamb of God.” When Andrew and another disciple listened to John making his testimony about Jesus, they immediately walked behind the Lord and was introduced to his “dwelling.” It was from that moment that they stayed with Him. I heard this section of John explained for the first time by a Salesian priest when I was a first year college student. And the explanation stuck to me. The first disciples experienced the Lord, He made an impact on them such that Andrew even called in his brother. This version of the call of discipleship builds up on the account given by Mark. It emphasizes the role that a personal experience of the Lord that one must have first in order to call others to him.

We Catholics are privileged in that we are given the possibility of experienceing the Lord in the Word and in the Sacraments. For us, the Word did not only become flesh, it also became bread and wine that whosoever drinks and eats of it may have life to the full. The Lord extends his presence to the tabernacle. Daily, we Catholics do not only receive Him in communion, we can also visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation we are healed from the obstacles that can prevent our communion with the Lord from bearing fruit. Daily, we can “come and see” the Lord and allow Him to create an impact in our lives, just as the first disciples did.

The first disciples went to the Lord as the Lamb of God. Joachim Jeremias tells us that the Aramaic original for Lamb was “taliya'” which also meant “Servant.” This must have been how the first disciples heard it from John the Baptist. What was in their minds when they heard the announcement and followed the Lord? Did they take John’s announcement as a directive that said “You shouldn’t be following me; you should be following Him.”? That would be characteristic of John the Baptist whose motto seems to have been “I must decrease, he must increase.” But the disciples did follow his directive and was introduced to the Hour of Jesus, the Hour where he bore away the sins of mankind in the manner of a scapegoat, the Hour when he shed His blood to be the blood of the New Passover.

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