“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” The Lamb! This is what Jesus is called in today’s Gospel. This gentle symbol would never be considered as a fitting logo for the mighty people of today. Imagine a football team being called “The Lambs.” The hard-hitting players and avid fans prefer names like Lions, Tigers, Panthers, Bulls, etc.
Our religion overflows with paradoxes. So many of its teachings are exactly the opposite from what we would expect. Thus, we preach that the lamb is stronger than the lion. At each Mass we cry out the triumphant chant, not once but three times: “Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” By this we profess that humanity’s most admirable Servant walked through this world, showing us that gentleness is toughness.
We are invited to follow that same paradoxical tradition and find glory in our weakness. In his 2nd Letter to the Corinthians Chapter 12 verse 10, St. Paul well said: “I am not content with weakness – – – – for when I am powerless it is then that I am strong.” But how can we be strong in our weakness? Our weakness can be an occasion of strength if out of humility we seek the strength of the powerful God.
Whenever we try to act as a dominating master instead of a humble servant, we are ignoring the “lamb theology.” Jesus told us that church and civil authority are radically different. In the state, the leaders “lord it over” their subjects. But to his disciples, Jesus says, “it cannot be like that with you. Anyone among you who aspires for greatness must serve the rest (Mt. 20:25).
So it was that He lived and preached, and although He was led to the slaughter and was as mute as a lamb before the shearer, He won a greater victory than anyone has ever won.