Sisters and Brothers! I must confess that after hearing that I felt like I had met my John the Baptist. This little boy who was too little to have his Holy Communion got it right whom I was holding in my hands at Mass: Jesus Christ the Lamb of God.
We say so often that we receive Holy Communion, the Body of Christ or the Eucharist but I would like to ask you: When was the last time when you said to yourself or to someone else: I am going to receive the Lamb of God, who takes my sins away, who takes away the sins of the world.
It is because of the salvation which Jesus won for us by his death and resurrection that we are not slaves of the evil one. St Paul wrote: ‘You have been bought and paid for’ with the body and blood, humanity and divinity of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed himself for our sake.
A great English writer C. S. Lewis, after he was inspired by his dear Catholic friend J. R. R. Tolkien to embrace the Christianity again, wrote some books in which he showed the beauty and power of the Gospel. He did so because he was aware that lots of people stayed away from the Church. He wanted to reach out to them. That’s why the Chronicles of Narnia were written. In the first Book of the Series: ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ there is the story of the Great Lion called Aslan who is the figure of Christ. When one of the four children who got to Narnia, Edmund, betrayed his siblings to the Witch, who is the symbol of the evil, Edmund was to be handed over to the Witch for good. Then Aslan offered himself to replace Edmund. There is this most moving scene when Aslan, the Great Lion hands himself over to the Witch and her army. They torture him, humiliate him, they shave him and eventually kill him. When I saw it in the movie I couldn’t help thinking: This is not a lion this is a lamb. The scene in the movie was moving but what happens at every Mass is saving. We may return to sin many times but Jesus will match it by sacrificing himself. That’s why the words of St John the Baptist are repeated at every Mass so that we could take heart that despite slipping into sin so often the Lamb of God will not get disappointed with us nor discouraged at bringing his salvation into every day and every moment of our life.
My Fellow believers! We are so close to the great mysteries of God. We are even closer than the young prophet Samuel was as we could hear in our first reading. Samuel lived day and night in the Temple of God. However despite being in the Temple all the time it didn’t occur to him that God could speak to him. When he heard God’s voice he thought it was his teacher calling him. We too hear God speaking to us when Scriptures are proclaimed and when a homily is given. We even receive God under the species of bread and wine, our Lamb of God who takes away our sins. I ask you appreciate him. Love him. Pray to him every day so that you may recognise him on Sunday. ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those who are called to the Supper of the Lamb.’ You are the ones he wants to share his supper with.