In the 1st reading John speaks of the Lamb. We’re not used to having lambs around, and so it is easy to miss, or at least not grasp adequately, the symbolic meaning of these wooly things, and therefore the miss the depth of the text.
The lamb was the animal of sacrifice. At the very beginning of his ministry, John the Baptist called Jesus the Lamb of God. That is, the victim, the redeemer. Elsewhere, in the Book of Revelation, he is identified as the victor, the winner in the struggle with death, the resurrected one.
In the Old Testament Isaiah sees the lamb as the victim that makes no sound while being slaughtered. Joel and Zaphaniah identify the lamb as the judge of all nations.
So with all of these images in mind, I will reflect on Jesus in today’s Gospel, on how he teaches me what poverty really means and how he, the Lamb, put that virtue into practice by his words and actions during the course of his earthly life. Then I’ll ask him to follow him in what I say and do to others.