Photo illustration by Phil Younk
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Joseph is example of love, trust, faith
Based on Is 49:3, 5-6; 1 Cor 1:1-3; Jn 1:29-34
Today’s readings all point to Jesus!
In Isaiah, the chosen servant is not only being sent to meet the needs of Israel, but is also to be “a light to the nations” – Jesus, the Light of the world!
In his letter to the Corinthian community, Paul teaches them they are called to a life of grace and holiness in Jesus’ name. By their words and actions, they are to bring others to Jesus.
In the Gospel, John the Baptist proclaims Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God when he says, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
From the time of the Old Testament, people offered lambs as sacrifices to atone for their sins and to reconcile with God. John called Jesus the “Lamb of God” because Jesus would sacrifice his life on the cross for all humanity.
John the Baptist’s work of preparing people to follow Jesus was almost finished. Because of his faith and love for Jesus and his willingness to risk everything to witness for him, John eventually will lose his life testifying for Jesus.
The words, “Behold, the Lamb of God,” proclaimed for the first time by John, are spoken at every Mass. After the sign of peace, the priest breaks the consecrated host, places a small piece in the chalice and prays quietly. To help us prepare for Communion, we sing or say three times, “Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us … grant us peace.”
At Communion time, the priest holds up the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and proclaims, “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” We answer, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
Jesus gives himself to us in Communion to give us the strength and grace to grow in and to live our faith. Like John, we are asked to witness for Jesus – to proclaim the truth about him, by our words and actions, and thus bring people to Jesus.
Loving Father, help us to make Jesus known to others.