From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
January 19 – Second Sunday Ordinary Time
“Behold the Lamb of God!” Such simple and yet powerful words. We typically think of a lamb as a meek and innocent animal. It is the animal that throughout history has been the most popular ‘sacrifice.’ John’s clarion call in this gospel of the true nature of Jesus for us –as our servant and the sacrifice of God for our sinfulness: a sacrifice made that we might benefit – is a stark reminder to each of us about how we should approach others as well. Jesus did not come from a place of power or judgement – although he clearly could have. Rather he comes from a place of humility, a place of mercy and compassion, a place of forgiveness and acceptance and a place of encouragement and hope. In this gospel, Jesus has just finished his forty days in the desert, tempted by Satan. He overcomes Satan not through displays of power but through continual deference to the will of the Father, through humility, prayer and sacrifice. He conveys his strength through patience, kindness, love and truth. Jesus is the Lamb! We hear that twenty nine times in the Book of Revelations alone. It is intertwined within the liturgy of our Mass – the great sacrifice of the Lamb at the altar! His sole motivation was complete agape love! Through His sacrifice, he draws each of us in, refreshing our souls and renewing our hope simply with the power of truth presented through humility, service and sacrifice! Love – unabated and unblemished!
As Vincentians, when we minister in service to others in need, do we come as a lamb? Is there an innocence to what we are about or do we have our own agenda? Do we stand ready to sacrifice and suffer for others that they might benefit? Do we serve without judgement or high expectation? Do we offer ourselves fully and completely without condition or restraint? ‘Behold the Lamb!! Come follow me!’
Lord Jesus, I thank you for your sacrifice for me! I humble myself before you, asking that you help me embrace sacrifice for others, that through my suffering I may become ever more connected to your cross and they may come to see your presence. Help me to overcome my judgements and expectations. Instill in me a spirit of charity and mercy. Give me the grace to act with kindness and gentleness. We pray all of this in your name. Amen