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Gospel Jn 1:29-34

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.”

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“Friends, our Gospel for today contains one of the most important and misunderstood lines in all of Christian Scriptures. Spying Jesus, John the Baptist says, “Behold the Lamb of God.” In a very casual survey, I asked a number of people what this phrase means, and the answer I typically got was this: it means that he is gentle and humble and good, like a lamb.

But for a first century Jew, the phrase had little if anything to do with that: it had to do with sacrifice. It meant that Jesus was someone who was destined to be sacrificed as a sin offering to God.

John the Baptist’s characterization of Jesus as the Lamb of God has to do with temple sacrifice. He will be the one who offers the final and definitive sacrifice which reconciles divinity and humanity. He will offer something to the Father which will deal finally with the problem of sin, and in this we will find our salvation.”

–Bishop Robert Barron

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“We stand in the middle of the presence of God and are not afraid because Emmanuel is with us. We are set free from fear because we know we are not alone. Recognizing that gift, then, we can become for one another the living Emmanuel. Our love can burn as brightly and consistently as the burning bush in which God appeared to Moses.”

-from Let Us Adore Him

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“It is better to be a child of God than king of the whole world!”

— St. Aloysius Gonzaga

**

“It is necessary to have an absolutely sure intention in all our actions, so that the generous fulfillment of our daily duties may be directed toward the highest supernatural ideal. Thus, our life, apart from moments of prayer, will be a prayerful life. It is clear that the habit of giving an upward glance to God at the moment of action is a great assistance in aiding us to behave always with a pure intention and in freeing us from our natural impulses and fancies, so, that, retaining our self-mastery, or rather, God becoming the sole Master, all our movements become dependent upon the Holy Spirit. We see in the Gospel that whenever our Lord was about to undertake some important step, He always paused for a moment to raise His eyes to Heaven, and only after this moment of recollection did He take up the work He had to do. ‘He lifted up His eyes to Heaven’ is a phrase that recurs with significant frequency. And doubtless, when there was no outward sign of this prayer, there was the inward offering. The ideal is the same for us. The constant subjection of self to the guidance of the Holy Spirit is made easier from the fact of His presence in the soul, where He is asked explicitly to preside over all our doings . . .  We shall not submit wholeheartedly to the invisible Guest unless He is kept in close proximity to us.”

— Raoul Plus, S.J.

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