By Bishop Joseph Strickland • May 30, 2018
The good news in this Sunday’s Gospel according to Mark is that Jesus is the Passover Lamb. We are all familiar with this term and, if you are like me, we tend to take it for granted and not really pay close attention. The liturgy uses this specific passage from the Gospel as we celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in order to remind us of the beautiful truth this phrase evokes. The image of the Passover Lamb is so rich with meaning that it takes us back to the very beginning of God’s covenant of love with His people and, at the same time, literally propels us to the completion of Christ’s mission as he is seated at the right hand of God the Father. The mass beckons to all of us, as we hear these simple words, to embrace in our minds and hearts the fullness of the mystery of Jesus Christ and His profound sacrificial love for all humanity. In the Old Testament, the Passover lamb had to be eaten by the people of God, and although we have a new paschal lamb—Jesus Christ himself—we still must literally eat the lamb (Exodus 12:8). When we sing Lamb of God or Agnus Dei at every mass, we touch this beautiful truth for a moment, as THE LAMB is literally present on the altar in the consecrated bread.
The Gospel challenge for all of us is to truly embrace this profound and beautiful truth of our faith. It is so easy for all of us to be distracted, take it for granted, and forget that we are encountering the heart of the mystery of what life means. It represents the most profound revelation of God’s love for humankind and challenges us to grow in our understanding of what His love means. We are challenged to join our daily sacrifices of love to the ultimate sacrifice of the Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, who we consume at each Mass.
Let us pray that we can embrace this wondrous gift of our loving God ever more deeply and turn away from the sins that pull us away from the Lamb.