Gospel Reflection Jan 19 – Deacon Frank
Sunday, January 19
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
John 1: 29 – 34
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said,
‘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.”
John testified further, saying,
“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven
and remain upon him.
I did not know him,
but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
A bedraggled little man once walked the streets of an Italian town 100 years ago. Many of the townspeople saw his pallid face, often tearful, as he stumbled along the cobblestone streets and narrow alleys. One day a kind soul, witnessing the man’s misery, came up to him, hoping to lift his sad spirits. “Hello” the kind person began. “You know what you need? I have a ticket to the circus that arrived this week. I want you to take it and go see a clown named Grimaldi. I don’t know just how sad you are – but no matter what, Grimaldi puts everyone in a jolly mood. “The sad stranger replied, “Thanks. But, you see, I am Grimaldi.”
In today’s Gospel, we hear John the Baptist clarifying what he meant when he told the priests and Levites, “…there is one among you whom you do not recognize.” Lo and behold, the very next day Jesus himself walks up to the Baptist and his followers. John cries out in recognition, “Here comes the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” The Gospel reveals John the Baptist bearing witness to Jesus, helping all around him recognize that he is the Chosen one of God, he is eternal, he is the Messiah. Later, John would sum up his own recognition of Jesus in these humble words, “…he (Jesus) must increase and I must decrease.”
The first commandment is to love God. Seeing “the Lamb of God” – as John the Baptist did – can take our love of God to a whole new level. We will receive this martyred Lamb when we go to communion at this weekend’s Mass even though we declare we are not worthy to enter under his roof. Yet blessed – very blessed – are we who are called to the supper of the Lamb. Will you recognize him?
-Deacon Frank Iannarino