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“Behold the Lamb of God.” It is with these words that St. John the Baptist introduces Jesus to two of his followers, who then in turn do indeed follow Jesus to learn more about Him. One of those followers is identified as Andrew, brother to St. Peter, and the other is presumed by historians to be St. John. Throughout his Gospel St. John, although he appears often, is never specifically named.
But why did John the Baptist use that name in particular, “Lamb of God?” Lambs were sacrificed regularly and it was believed that their blood in sacrifice was given for the sins of that day. Of course, the blood of Jesus was given for our sins, not just for a particular day but for all time.
It is as if each Gospel presents a view of who Jesus is. You might say Matthew shows Him as the King of Kings. Mark presents Him as a Servant of God. Luke views Him as the Son of Man. And John illustrates Jesus as the Son of God. All together the Gospel writers give us a glimpse of the greatest Man who ever lived. This Man/God healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the hungry, and most importantly loved unconditionally. Jesus has cared for us like no other. No one has ever loved us like Jesus has.
In our First Reading from the Book of Samuel we hear of how Samuel answered the call of God. His response has become the subject of numerous hymns and other writings. Twice Samuel says “Here I am,” and then declares (once he is aware that it is God Who is speaking to him), “Speak, for your servant is listening.” One of the more popular hymns has as its refrain, “Here I am Lord; is it I Lord? I have heard You calling in the night. I will go Lord, if You lead me. I will hold Your people in my heart.”
Just as the reading from 1 Samuel captures the essence of what our response to God’s call should be, this hymn does as well. Do we respond as definitely as Samuel does? That is what we are called to do.
In the Second Reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Paul confirms that we (as Samuel realized) are completely God’s. Paul indicates that just as the Church as a whole is a temple of the Holy Spirit, that is also true, especially in a spiritual sense, of each of us as Christians. We belong to God; our bodies belong to God, and not to ourselves. We are not our own for Christ has purchased us with the price of His sacrifice. It is human nature perhaps to take better care of something that does not belong to us.
Although Paul is making reference to sexual conduct, he is making a more important point. If our bodies belong to Jesus, we should not be idle with or wasteful with what belongs to Him. Our purpose is to respond to the Lord (as Samuel did) and to glorify God (“Therefore, glorify God in your body.”).
Our Gospel Reading comes to us from the Gospel of St. John. You may recall that Matthew, Mark, and Luke are considered the synoptic Gospels — that is, “synoptic” is a Greek word that means “to see together.” The synoptic Gospels present the life, Passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus in a similar way.
The Gospel according to John is quite different. It is (at least according to scholars) more literary and more symbolic. It does not follow the same order as the synoptic Gospels, nor does it include the same stories. It was quite likely the last of the Gospels written. Today’s Gospel Reading affirms and confirms what we have heard in the first two readings.
Jesus asks these first two disciples an important and a logical question: “What are you looking for?” It is the same question He asks of all of us. For the answer the Lord directed them, as He does us as well, to Himself – to live with Him, to “Come and…see.” Those disciples followed Him. They do this at the urging of John the Baptist. Their willingness to follow Jesus fulfills John the Baptist’s ministry.
From our First Reading to our Second Reading to this Gospel we are all called to do the same. We are called to be Christ’s disciples. People come to faith in the Lord through invitation. Andrew invites and introduces his brother Simon Peter to Jesus. If we truly believe in the Lord, and wish to share that belief, we do invite others to join with us. That is part of our calling.
Filed Under: Homily Guides, Stewardship Reflections on Lectionary Readings by Catholic Stewardship Consultants’, Inc.
ESTE ES EL CORDERO DE DIOS
La introducción de Juan fue una declaración sencilla: "Este es el Cordero de Dios". Los dos discípulos inmediatamente respondieron. Jesús sintió las voluntades de sus corazones y los invitó a seguirlo. ¿Algunas veces deseas que reconocer a Dios fuera algo directo en tu propia vida? ¿Acaso no sería maravilloso que un amigo pudiera señalar con exactitud a Cristo? Aunque no siempre tenemos un sentido claro de la presencia de Dios con y dentro de nosotros, tenemos una oportunidad regular de encontrarnos con Cristo, en la celebración de la Misa. Como los discípulos, también escuchamos, "Este es el Cordero de Dios". Después de la consagración, justo antes de que recibamos la sagrada comunión, el sacerdote eleva la hostia y dice: "Este es el Cordero de Dios, que quita el pecado del mundo. Dichosos los invitados a la cena del Señor". Es como tener un amigo que nos está señalando al Señor. Aquí esta Cristo, listo para que nosotros recibamos su Cuerpo y su Sangre, para entrar a una profunda comunión con él y vivir nuestras vidas como sus discípulos. Alimentados en palabra y sacramento, estamos llamados para señalar el camino hacia el Señor como testigo del amor de Cristo.
AQUÍ ESTOY. HABLA, SEÑOR; TU SIERVO TE ESCUCHA
El Señor no solo llama a personas como Samuel o los dos discípulos. Dios nos llama a cada uno de nosotros. Debemos estar atentos a la presencia de Dios en la oración, las Sagradas Escrituras, los sacramentos, nuestras relaciones con las demás personas, la belleza de la creación. Debemos crecer en voluntad para responder, para vivir como el pueblo de Dios en las circunstancias diarias de nuestras vidas. La orientación que Elías dio a Samuel también es para nosotros, con mente y corazón abiertos, hacemos bien en decir a Dios "Habla, Señor; tu siervo te escucha". Como los discípulos en el Evangelio de hoy, debemos estar listos para hacer a un lado lo que sea que podría ponerse en nuestro camino de nuestra relación con Cristo y nuestra vida cristiana. Fue más que el cambio del nombre de Simón. Los discípulos descubrieron en Jesús una nueva vida, y ellos compartieron con todos la Buena Nueva de esta vida.
Copyright (c) J. S. Paluch Co., Inc.
Christian stewardship begins with the call to discipleship and in today’s Gospel we discover those first individuals who sought out Jesus and wanted to listen to him, learn from him and stay with him. Today, Christian stewards search out the hidden presence of Jesus in their own lives every day. They know Christ is the “Messiah” who will one day bring about a perfect restoration to a troubled world. They further understand that they are sacraments of his hidden presence in the world. Their task is to make that reality known through their own words and actions. What is one thing we can do to be better stewards of Christ’s life in us?
Source: International Catholic Stewardship Council e-Bulletin
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