“John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.'” (Jn 1:29)
I was inspired during the homily this morning.
Inspired because as Father preached on the the feast of St John the Baptist, preached on this saint’s humility and poverty, a humility and poverty akin to the humility and poverty of St Francis and of the Franciscan way of life, the words of the homily and the words of Sacred Scripture pierced my every day thinking, my holiday mode.
Behold the Lamb of God, he who takes away the sin of the world.
As Father said, this should be our call to the world, we should raise up our voices, even in a seeming wilderness, and cry out…here, here is Jesus, the Lamb of God. Here is why we come to mass. Not for warm fuzzy feelings or out of a sense of duty or to socialize, but for love.
And this is what our lives should proclaim to the world. That Jesus is the Lamb of God, that He died for love of us.
Father’s challenge is this, the challenge if the Gospel, the challenge of the Christian way of life.
Relationship with Our Lord, He who died for us, should mean a transformation. Of self, of family, of culture.
There is no gap between Catholicism and evangelism . To be Catholic, to be a Christian, is to live a life showing the Lamb of God to others.
Simply to confess a belief in a Catholic view of Christ is to take a counter-cultural position which demands apologetics and explanation. Demands love and forgiveness.
Now, is this always easy?
But did St John the Baptist count the cost?
Again, to quote the homily heard this morning, …no, no counting of cost but a heroic call to cry the Gosepl by word and deed , even at cost of life.
That dying to self, if not necessarily a physical death.
This is the challenge. The cost. For I want to be me. To not give up those parts of me that I hold dear.
God’s grace can sometimes come with a cost.A joy, a grace a love, yes. But.. He loves, He gives, He calls.
(The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer) “Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace.”
Costly grace. So that my life, and yours, echoes the cry of St John the Baptist…look, look, here is Jesus, the Lamb of God, come let us adore, come let us follow, let us live.