AD SENSE

Jan 3rd - Christmas Season-Daily Reflections


3rd January 2020, Friday
1 John 2:29 - 3:6 / John 1:29-34

John identifies Jesus: “There is the Lamb of God.”

 Why did John call Jesus the “Lamb of God”? Many scholars think he was drawing a parallel between Jesus and the Passover lamb. Recall that a lamb was sacrificed on the night the Israelites fled from Egypt.
The lamb’s blood was smeared on the doorposts of their houses to protect them from the angel of death, who went about slaying the Egyptian firstborn on that memorable night.
Drawing on the prophecies of Jeremiah 12:19 and Isaiah 53:7, John may have seen Jesus as the new Passover lamb. (i Corinthians 5:7) His sacrifice and his blood would save not only Israel but all people.
****
Of all the titles given to Jesus— like Bread of Life, Light of the World, the Good Shepherd, Immanuel, Son of Man, and the Way, the Truth, and the Life— which appeals to you most, and why? “This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper.” Liturgy of the Eucharist
****
A magnifying glass is a common and yet an amazing thing. Whatever is too small for the eye to see, we just need to get a magnifying glass and all the small details will be visible.

But besides enlarging the small details that the eye won't be able to see so easily, there is another aspect to the magnifying glass.

When it is put under the sun, it can focus the rays of the sun to a particular spot on the ground and if held there for long enough, the spot will start to burn. But do be careful of the fire hazard when doing this!

John the Baptist had a kind of spiritual magnifying glass. He was able to point out Jesus as the Lamb of God. He was able to see the Spirit come down from heaven like a dove and rest on Jesus and he knew then that Jesus was the Chosen One of God.

His spiritual magnifying glass enabled him to see what others could not see immediately.

But at the same time, his spiritual magnifying glass kept him focused on his mission and what he was sent to do. But we too have a kind of spiritual magnifying glass. The 1st reading tells us that everyone whose life is righteous is begotten by God.

And if we are begotten by God, then we too have that spiritual magnifying glass to keep focused on God and to do what He wants of us.

That spiritual magnifying glass is none other than prayer. Prayer keeps us focused on God, and through prayer, God will also make us His instruments to set other on fire with His love.

So we do have that spiritual magnifying glass of prayer. Let us use it for the glory of God.
****
LITURGY

BORN OF GOD

Introduction
The message of today speaks in two different senses of being God’s sons and daughters. There is first Christ, the Son of God in a deeper way than one said to be beloved by God. John recognizes him as God’s own Son, with a human and divine personality. He is sent among people by the Father as the One who will save us by his sufferings, as the Lamb, as the suffering servant.
On account of him we are born of God, we are God’s sons and daughters, as John will say in his letter. However banal our existence may look, there is this astonishing truth: we are God’s children. This is not merely a beautiful word; it’s a deep reality. This dignity gives us the responsibility to grow, to give up sin, to mature to the full personhood of Christ, for that is what children are supposed to do.

Opening Prayer
Lord God, Father of Jesus Christ,
in your only Son you have made us
your sons and daughters,
who are born of you and live your life.
Help us to seek your will always
and to grow in your love,
towards that freedom and maturity
to which you have called us
in Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord,
who lives with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Commentary
Two words of great significance appear in today’s scriptures: lamb and children. John the Baptist recognizes Jesus as the Lamb of God. At every Eucharist before the communion, the celebrant raises the host and says, “Behold the Lamb of God.” The background to the image is found in two evident sources in the Old Testament. The first comes from the Passover ritual celebrating the liberation of the Hebrews from Egyptian bondage (Exodus 11-12). In order that the Hebrew children not be slain by the avenging angel, the Hebrews were to sprinkle the blood of a newly slaughtered lamb on their doorposts. The lamb then became a symbol of deliverance in the Passover ritual.
The lamb appears again in the last song of the servant in the Book of Isaiah. The mysterious servant is about to undergo death in expiation for the sins of his people (Isa 53). He goes to his death humbly and submissively, like a lamb led to the slaughter. These instances serve as background to our understanding of Jesus as the Lamb of God. Like the Hebrews in Egyptian bondage, we have been liberated from the slavery of sin through the blood of a lamb—Christ. And like Isaiah’s humble servant, Christ with perfect submission hands himself over for our salvation.
In the Johannine writings, the author shows a marked preference for the term children in addressing his audience. It is used as a term of endearment for his own community members. Through Christian baptism we become part of the family of God. Father and Son are united by the Spirit of love, and that same Spirit is infused in us. This distinguished the baptism of Jesus from that of John. We are no longer outsiders, hired hands, or domestics. We now come in by the front door, are seated at the master’s table, and are part of the family inheritance. This is reality, not wishful thinking. We are truly privileged to be children of God.
The lamb and the child are joined. If Christ had not become die Lamb, we would not be family members. Gratitude is the only motive for goodness. We are saved by God and then made his children. No Christmas present can match that.

Points to Ponder
Jesus the Lamb of God
Jesus servant of the Lord
Jesus our Brother; God our Father
Fellow Christians: brothers and sisters

Intercessions
– That more and more people all over the world may know that they are children of God, of a God who loves them tenderly as a father and a mother, we pray:
– That however different we are in very many ways, we may come to accept, appreciate and love one another as brothers and sisters, we pray:
– That God may recreate us anew every day in the image of his Son and let us grow up more and more in the likeness of Jesus, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord God, our Father,
these gifts of bread and wine,
coming from your hands,
are also the fruit of our toil.
We bring them before you
as the signs of our goodwill
to continue the struggle
against the forces of evil
in us and around us.
In the storms and trials of life
help us to overcome sin,
that you may reveal to us the glory,
which you have prepared for us
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
Lord God, our Father,
you have visited your sons and daughters
through our brother Jesus Christ.
Help us to live together
as a community of friendship, sharing and peace,
that we may bear witness
that you are our God and we your people,
through our brother and Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessing

Children of God, that is indeed what we are. May the thought of this reality fill us with a sense of admiration, gratitude and security. May almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.