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From: John 1:29-34

The Witness of John (Continuation)

[29] 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! [30] This is He
of whom I said, `After me comes a man who ranks before me, for He was before
me.’ [31] I myself did not know Him; but for this I came baptizing with water,
that He might be revealed to Israel.” [32] And John bore witness, “I saw the Spi-
rit descend as a dove from Heaven, and it remained on Him. [33] I myself did not
know Him; but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, `He on whom
you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is He who baptizes with the Holy
Spirit.’ [34] And I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God.”


29. For the first time in the Gospel Christ is called the “Lamb of God”. Isaiah had
compared the sufferings of the Servant of Yahweh, the Messiah, with the sacrifice
of a lamb (cf. Isaiah 53:7); and the blood of the paschal lamb smeared on the door
of houses had served to protect the firstborn of the Israelites in Egypt (cf. Exodus
12:6-7): all this was a promise and prefiguring of the true Lamb, Christ, the victim
in the sacrifice of Calvary on behalf of all mankind. This is why St. Paul will say
that “Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7). The ex-
pression “Lamb of God” also suggests the spotless innocence of the Redeemer
(cf. 1 Peter 1:18-20; 1 John 3:5).

The sacred text says “the sin of the world”, in the singular, to make it absolutely
clear that every kind of sin is taken away: Christ came to free us from Original
Sin, which in Adam affected all men, and from all personal sins.

The Book of Revelation reveals to us that Jesus is victorious and glorious in Hea-
ven as the slain lamb (cf. Revelation 5:6-14), surrounded by saints, martyrs and
virgins (Revelation 7:9, 14; 14:1-5), who render Him the praise and glory due Him
as God (Revelation 7:10).

Since Holy Communion is a sharing in the sacrifice of Christ, priests say these
words of the Baptist before administering it, to encourage the faithful to be grate-
ful to our Lord for giving Himself up to death to save us and for giving Himself to
us as nourishment for our souls.

30-31. John the Baptist here asserts Jesus’ superiority by saying that He existed
before him, even though He was born after him. Thereby he shows us the divinity
of Christ, who was generated by the Father from all eternity and born of the Virgin
Mary in time. It is as if the Baptist were saying: “Although I was born before Him,
He is not limited by the ties of His birth; for although He is born of His mother in
time, He was generated by His Father outside of time” (St. Gregory the Great,
“In Evangelia Homiliae”, VII).

By saying what he says in verse 31, the Precursor does not mean to deny his
personal knowledge of Jesus (cf. Luke 1:36 and Matthew 3:14), but to make it
plain that God revealed to him the moment when he should publicly proclaim Je-
sus as Messiah and Son of God, and that he also understood that his own mis-
sion as precursor had no other purpose than to bear witness to Jesus Christ.

32-34. To emphasize the divinity of Jesus Christ, the Evangelist includes here the
Precursor’s testimony regarding Jesus’ Baptism (cf. the other Gospels, which de-
scribe in more detail what happened on this occasion: Matthew 3:13-17 and para-
graph). It is one of the key points in our Lord’s life, in which the mystery of the
Blessed Trinity is revealed (cf. note on Matthew 3:16).

The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, of whom it is said in Genesis 1:2 that He
was moving over the face of the waters. Through this sign of the dove, the Isaiah
prophecies (11:2-5: 42:1-2) are fulfilled which say that the Messiah will be full of
the power of the Holy Spirit. The Baptist points to the great difference between
the baptism he confers and Christ’s Baptism; in John 3, Jesus will speak about
this new Baptism in water and in the Spirit (cf. Acts 1:5; Titus 3:5).

“The Son of God”: it should be pointed out that in the original text this expression
carries the definite article, which means that John the Baptist confesses before
his listeners the supernatural and transcendent character of Christ’s messiahship
— very far removed from the politico-religious notion which Jewish leaders had

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

5 posted on 01/02/2014 7:54:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Jerusalem Bible published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

First reading

1 John 2:29-3:6 ©

You know that God is righteous –

then you must recognise that everyone whose life is righteous

has been begotten by him.

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us,

by letting us be called God’s children;

and that is what we are.

Because the world refused to acknowledge him,

therefore it does not acknowledge us.

My dear people, we are already the children of God

but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed;

all we know is, that when it is revealed

we shall be like him

because we shall see him as he really is.

Surely everyone who entertains this hope

must purify himself, must try to be as pure as Christ.

Anyone who sins at all

breaks the law,

because to sin is to break the law.

Now you know that he appeared in order to abolish sin,

and that in him there is no sin;

anyone who lives in God does not sin,

and anyone who sins

has never seen him or known him.


Psalm 97:1,3-6 ©

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Sing a new song to the Lord

  for he has worked wonders.

His right hand and his holy arm

  have brought salvation.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

All the ends of the earth have seen

  the salvation of our God.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth,

  ring out your joy.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp

  with the sound of music.

With trumpets and the sound of the horn

  acclaim the King, the Lord.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia, alleluia!

A hallowed day has dawned upon us.

Come, you nations, worship the Lord,

for today a great light has shone down upon the earth.




Alleluia, alleluia!

The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.

To all who received him he gave power to become children of God.




Alleluia, alleluia!

At various times in the past

and in various different ways,

God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;

but in our own time, the last days,

he has spoken to us through his Son.



John 1:29-34 ©

Seeing Jesus coming towards him, John said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. This is the one I spoke of when I said: A man is coming after me who ranks before me because he existed before me. I did not know him myself, and yet it was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptising with water.’ John also declared, ‘I saw the Spirit coming down on him from heaven like a dove and resting on him. I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is going to baptise with the Holy Spirit.” Yes, I have seen and I am the witness that he is the Chosen One of God.’

6 posted on 01/02/2014 8:11:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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