Reflection on Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading Is 49: 3, 5-6
2nd Reading 1 Cor 1: 1-3
Gospel Jn 1: 29-34
We are now in the second week in Ordinary Time (A). The Gospel Reading is already setting the way for us for the next important seasons of the liturgical calendar, specifically Lent and Easter. How is this so?
We may recall in the Gospel that when John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him he proclaimed “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” We have heard many times from John during Advent in preparation for the coming of the Saviour. Why is John’s proclamations coming to us again during this Ordinary Time?
When John the Baptist identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, he both summarizes and anticipates the course of salvation history. We recall back the story of Abraham and his son Isaac on Mt. Moriah to offer sacrifice to God. From a bizarre and possibility of a dreadful situation, a lamb was sacrificed in place of Isaac.
We may also recall that when the Isrealites were held in bondage in Egypt, it was the slaughter of the passover lambs and the liturgical meals that set them free to go home to the Promised Land. This sacrifice became an indispensable annual religious event for the Covenant people.
We know that the Chosen people disobeyed their Covenant with God numerous times. Yet God remained steadfast to the Covenant and even promised, despite their wilful disobedience, that someday He would send His Servant to restore the Covenant. God Himself would provide the Lamb. The mission would accomplished through the suffering and death of the Servant and the innocent Lamb would be slain for the sins of others.
So as we come back to John and as he sees Jesus approaching, he proclaims him as the long awaited Lamb. He also states clearly the purpose of his mission, that is, to become The Sacrifice that will purge the sin of the world. This Lamb existed before all time and his Incarnation means that sin can now be forgiven and the human soul through baptism can be filled with the Holy Spirit.
John, in this Gospel passage, gives powerful witness to the starting point of Jesus’ ministry, the proclamation of the Kingdom of God, celebrated during this Ordinary Time when he says ” Now, I have seen and testified that He is the Son of God.”
May I suggest that in this Ordinary Time of the Liturgical Calendar, we spend more with the Sacrificial Lamb as individuals, with our families and our communities as we respond to His call to
“Go Forth and Proclaim the Good News.”
Eligius Samuel Sandor.