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Behold, the LAMB of GOD!

Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, 2019

"Behold the LAMB OF GOD." I say these words at each Holy Mass declaring: "how blessed (happy, joy-filled) are those called to the supper of the lamb." When the Bible speaks of lambs it wants us to think of the shepherds and the lambs during ancient times. Many Israelites were shepherds who worked hard to draw their daily sustenance from a very harsh landscape; we are talking about dry and arid and desert like territory here. Can you imagine all that these shepherds had to go through? Predators stole many of their sheep. Disease killed even more of the sheep. Local thieves came along all the time to steal the sheep. Life was tough, unpredictable, and full of fear and anxiety for these shepherds. They didn't have it easy! Neither do you! It's no coincidence that the Bible says that the first people who came to that first altar(manger) to feast on the LAMB OF GOD were shepherds because they represent all of us who also have tough, arduous, fear stricken lives and yet in the midst of this life, like them, we come to behold Jesus: our lamb of God who makes us all BLESSED.

Every spring in the midst of their hard lives the shepherds of ancient Israel received their most precious gift: new lambs were born. When these new lambs were born hope was born because these new lambs were a sign that the shepherds and their flocks would be able to survive for another year; they would be ok; all would be well. In the lamb the shepherds received their sign that they were blessed. In our lamb, we too, each time we behold the lamb at Holy Mass receive our sign; a sign that lasts not for a year but for eternity declaring that we will be ok; that we will make it no matter what not just for a year but that we will be fine forever and ever and ever world without end. Amen. Father Adam Kotas

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