Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus of Nazaret, the lamb of God
The next day he [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 the sky 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.” Jn 1,29-34
In the history of the religions the way chosen by the men to fix their union with the gods has been the one of the sacrificial victim, almost always an animal, the most common being the lamb, the one more docile and undefended among all. In the pagan world, however, the initiative for such sacrifice was always taken by the men, who desire to get in contact with the divinity. In the history of the salvation, to which God, moved by the love for the man and having given origin with the call to Abraham, has accepted the human way to cancel the distance with the humanity, bringing it to the extreme consequences. The God initiatives have been two: the first has been the full and total forgiveness of our sin which, since the beginning of the times, has been the cause of the remoteness of the man from him; the second has been the offer of his son, Jesus of Nazaret, as sacrificial victim. In Jesus Christ, who dies on the cross because of our sins, the forgiveness and the sacrificial offer are welded together in the moment when the dying Son of God says: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do”. (Lk 23,24) This has been the salvation strategy of God which is announced in the today passage by John the Baptist: “Here you have the lamb of God, the one who cancel the sin from the world!”. This love and forgiveness act which reaches its maximum point on the cross, being infinite, could not be the last event of the history of the salvation, leaving the man with a fault greater of the first sin, committed by the beginning of the times. Hence, hereby, the resurrection is, at the same time, the triumph of God and the total salvation for the man, because we too are, in addition to be pardoned, redeemed and resurrected to a new life in Jesus Christ.