Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Lamb of God

The Lamb of God

“Look, there is the lamb of God.”  (John 1: 36)

Jesus is the Lamb of God.  What are the attributes of a lamb?  Meekness, gentleness and tenderness.  Jesus is the image of God the Father.  One of the purposes of his incarnation is to reveal to us the nature of God.  In John 1: 36, we see Jesus that is meek, gentle and tender.  A God that is very lovable.

Jesus as the Lamb of God is a concept we should reflect on always.  Lamb of God is one of the tenderest descriptions of Jesus.  It shows the power that created the universe as powerless.

Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church comments thus, “After agreeing to baptize him along with the sinners, John the Baptist looked at Jesus and pointed him out as the ‘Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.’  By doing so, he reveals that Jesus is at the same time the suffering Servant who silently allows himself to be led to the slaughter and who bears the sin of the multitudes, and also the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel’s redemption at the first Passover.  Christ’s whole life expresses his mission:  ‘to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  9CCC # 608)

Jesus is the Lamb that defeated the ferocious enemy, the ruler of the powers and the principalities.  Is it not amazing that in describing the power that defeated Satan, the image of a gentle, meek and tender lamb is used?  God displays his mighty power not through brute force but through meekness, gentleness and tenderness.  

What is the lesson for us?  Lord Jesus, make us meek, gentle and tender like you.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Practice What You Teach

“The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is going to baptize with the Holy Spirit. ‘Yes, I have seen and I am the witness that he is the chosen One of God.” (John 1: 34)

John the Baptist came to prepare the way of the Lord. He did this work by word, action and the example of his life. When Christ Jesus appeared, he had a ready audience. “When the student is ready, the teacher appears,” says the Chinese proverb.

Like John, we too have seen Jesus at work in his Church. We can bear witness that he is the Son of God. Our work is to prepare students to meet the teacher. Like John the Baptist, we do this by our word, our action and the example of our life.

  • Believe what you read.

  • Teach what you believe.

  • Practice what you teach.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Fullness of Jesus

“Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received – yes, grace in return for grace, since, though the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.” (John 1: 16)

Christ is full of grace. Jesus is full of all goodness. Christ is full of all resources. Jesus is full of power, honor and glory. Christ is full of mercy and compassion. Jesus is full of patience and love. Jesus Christ is full of kindness and generosity.

Jesus desires to fill us with his fullness. How much do we desire to be filled? How eagerly do we pray to be filled? All the good things we have come from Jesus: family, health, job, money, tools and toys, and food. How about the delays, disappointments, obstacles and trials of life? All these also pass through the most loving and most powerful providence of Jesus. His loving providence guiding us every step and protecting us every moment of the today is far more powerful than our impotent providence.

The Law came through Moses. The law represents work, human effort, will power and positive thinking. From Jesus Christ comes the opposite: grace and truth. Jesus brings us the truth about God, the world and man.

Let us praise and thank Jesus and say: “God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the Lord, and he has been my savior. With joy I will draw water at the fountain of salvation.” (Isaiah 12: 2 – 3)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Where is Jesus?

“He came to his own domain and his own people did not accept him. But to all who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name.” (John 1: 11-12)

For many centuries, God prepared the chosen people through the prophets for the coming of the Messiah. Yet we read that when the Messiah came, his people did not accept him. They failed to recognize him.

When we fail to recognize Christ today in his various manifestations, acceptance becomes almost impossible. Just as the prophets and rabbis prepared the chosen people for the coming of the Christ through prophecies and teachings, so Jesus Christ himself through his teachings prepare us for the various ways he will continue to manifest himself to us day by day. How does Christ manifest himself to us today? Where is Jesus?

Christ acts principally today “through the sacraments he instituted to communicate his grace.” (CCC #1084)

“Christ is always present in his Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the Sacrifice of the Mass not only in the person of his minister, ‘the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross,’ but especially in the Eucharistic species.” (CCC # 1088)

“He is present in his word since it is he himself who speaks when the holy Scriptures are read in the Church. Lastly, he is present when the Church prays and sings, for he has promised ‘where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them.” (CCC #1088)

“He came to his own domain and his own people did not accept him. But to all who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name.” (John 1: 11-12)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Word is the Light

“The word was the true light that enlightens all men.” (John 1:9)

The word is the Word of God. This Word created all men and all things. The Word is also the light that gives meaning to man and the world. Without the word, man’s life will be meaningless and just material. The word gives meaning to the spiritual nature of man.

There are two lights in the world: the light of the word and the light of Satan, which in reality is darkness. This light is error or a lie. It distorts the image of man by trying to portray man as material. But Christ is the true light of the world. Where is this light? Where is Christ? Christ is alive. He is found in the Church. He is in the word of God. He is in the sacraments. He is where two or three are gathered in his name. It is clear that visible eyes cannot perceive Christ today. We need the eyes of faith to do so.

The word of God is the true light that enlightens us on all the aspects of our life: family, health, job, money, tools and food. Any other light will lead us into error. To appropriate the full meaning of the light of the word for our life, we ask: What does the word of God say to me on: health, family, money, job, food and tool. The answer we get is the light to follow.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Who is Jesus?

“In the beginning was the Word; the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him. All that came to be had life in him and that life was the light of men, a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower.” (John 1: 1 – 5)

St. John the Evangelist is speaking about Jesus. He wrote his gospel after more than half a century reflecting on the earthly life of Jesus, on his passion, death and resurrection. Out of the four Gospels, that of St. John is the most spiritual.

St. John answers the question “Who is Jesus” by saying that Jesus is the Word of God. He was with God from the very beginning. All things came to be through him. He is the light that scatters darkness.

After many years of reflecting on the life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, we too must be able to write our own gospel about Jesus? Who do you perceive Jesus to be? Even if you cannot yet write your own gospel about Jesus, you can make an act of faith that Jesus Christ is:
  • The light of the world

  • The truth

  • The way

  • The life

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Make Disciples

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commandments I gave you. And know that I am with you always’ yes, to the end of time.” (Matthew 28: 19-20)

This is the final scene in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus gave the great commission to his disciples. Christ was also speaking to us when he said: “Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations….” For three years Jesus trained his disciples. They were ready. Only one thing was lacking. The presence of the Holy Spirit.

Have you heard the call of Christ to evangelize in your work place? In your family? How does Christ prepare us for this work? He prepares us through Scripture, through prayer and through the Eucharist. Through these means, he increases his life in us.

Jesus promised to be with his disciples always – now and to the end of time. We too enjoy this same promise.