Today’s Gospel: John 1:29-34
Optional Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
As John the Baptist sees Jesus coming towards him, he cries out, “Behold, 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 before me, for He was before me.’”
John the Baptist’s announcement and pointing to Jesus is loaded with truths about Jesus. Isaiah referred to the sacrifice of the Lamb. In the Book of Exodus we learn of the blood of the lamb smeared on the doors as protection for the first born of the Israelites. But the Baptist is the first to refer to Jesus as the Lamb of God—spotless, pure, sacrificial.
John proclaims that Jesus has come to take away the sin of the world; not some sins, or specific sins, but the sin of the world. That is to say, Jesus comes once and for all to take away all sin beginning with original sin in the Sacrament of Baptism and all personal sin.
John was born before Jesus, but he says of Jesus: “After me comes a man who ranked before me, for he was before me.” Here, John makes a statement of humility, bowing to Jesus’ divinity and acknowledging that He comes before all others.
John also gives witness to Jesus’ baptism: “I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven and it remained on Him.” This refers to the Isaiah prophecies that the Savior will be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
In his entire proclamation, John the Baptist demonstrates to us how we are to come to Jesus: in humility, always putting Jesus first and pointing the way to Him so that others may know Him. Like John, we are to proclaim courageously: “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
In your daily life, do you imitate John the Baptist so that in humility and with great courage, you point others always to Jesus?
Dear Lord, I want my life to be a sign post that always points to You. Please grant me the graces I need so that I may daily, and in all things, direct everyone I encounter to You.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Terry McDermott