Is 49:3, 5-6
1 Cor 1:1-3
John the Baptizer, a voice crying in the wilderness, opening the way for someone he did not know. John wasn’t sure who was coming, he just knew someone was. “A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” Many who came to John for Baptism believed that he, John was the Messiah, the one to come. Indeed, there are groups of people in the Middle East to this day who still believe that John is the Messiah. The Baptist, however, knew differently. He knew that he was the one sent to prepare the way, the way for one he did not know, but the one he would recognize. That is why he was able to cry out, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” John saw the Spirit descend upon Jesus and knew, this is the one, this is the one I have waited for, and then proceeded to tell all who would listen.
Many days in our prayers we make this same cry, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” We say it, but how often do we recognize the Lamb? All too easily we say the words, and all too easily we fail to hear them. To recognize the Lamb of God requires action on our part. First, the painful acknowledgement that there is sin in the world and we a we a big part of it. Second, while it is imperative that we recognize the Lamb, our responsibility does not end there. The sin of the world, that is our responsibility. We are a part of the greed, the lust, the hate, the anger and the violence that is the sin of the world. We hate to admit it, we don’t want to recognize it, but that sin is ours. We have a choice, a choice made clear to us by the Baptizer many years ago. We can wallow in the sin, remaining mired in the depths of depravity, or we can looks up and cry out, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jan. 20, 2008