call and live it
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
St. John the Evangelist uses the figure of the lamb in his expression “Lamb of God” in his Holy Gospel twice. The Church fathers taught that this expression is in reference to the lamb offered at Passover. This expression, “Lamb of God,” is only found in St. John’s Gospel and signifies that the Lord Jesus Christ would be the true sacrifice, the Lamb that would atone for and take away the sins of the world.
It is important to reflect on how we know the Lamb of God. We need to recognize the fact that if it were not for people who listened, recognized their vocation, and took action we would not know Him.
John the Baptist points to Jesus and says: “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John’s naming Jesus publicly as the Lamb of God is a remarkable act of recognition that tells us about the workings of the Holy Spirit and God’s grace in the world as well as our necessity to respond.
John’s testimony continues when he refers to himself saying: “He who sent me to baptize with water said to me ‘On Whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, He is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’”
John stands as a superior example of recognizing God’s grace, following the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and doing God’s will.
St. John the Baptist sees and understands that God chose him for a specific purpose and he sets out to fulfill that mission. He works every day to fulfill the mission he was given. He prays, fasts, and lives a life in accordance with the vocation he was given. He stays awake and aware and when the key moment of his ministry, his calling arrives – he recognizes it and proclaims it publically: “Behold, the Lamb of God.”
All that happens in the kingdom of God depends on people, depends on us. Our testimony and witness depend on whether we, like the Baptist, allow grace to have its affect on us, and whether we choose to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. If we listen, pray, and live regularly in accord with our calling we will be ready to give testimony. In fact, our entire lives will be witness to the Lamb of God.
Our God is a remarkable God. He came in the humblest of ways, as a lamb. He lived His human life with complete trust in the Father’s will. As He began His public ministry He did not just stand up and say, ‘here I am.’ Jesus did not announce Himself. He needed to be recognized. It is now up to us. We must be His recognizers – announcing Him by our lives.