May 1, The Lamb and the lambs: a Sunday Scriptures blog

An animal is a central figure in readings for the 3rd Sunday of Easter (Rev 5:11-14 and John 21:1-19). In Hebrew history, the lamb is the covenant animal; its blood smeared on their door posts saved Hebrew families from death in the Exodus story. In Jesus’ time and today, lambs are slaughtered for Passover, the feast commemorating God’s promise of covenant and salvation. So when we speak of Jesus as the Lamb of God, we acknowledge the covenant he made with us and sealed with his blood. The Lamb of God is not a victim, however, but a victor. This victorious, power-filled, risen Lamb has done the Godly action of taking away the sin of the world. In our first reading from Revelation, the Lamb is equated with God: “the elders fell down and worshiped” both the one on the throne and the lamb. Our Gospel brings this lofty message down to earth, to our hearts. For this powerful, heavenly Lamb of God in our Gospel is also the Shepherd, concerned for his lambs, the flock, the sheep. And there is an intimate bond between the shepherd and the sheep. In our Gospel, the Risen Christ says to his bedazzled apostles, “Come, have breakfast.” And he tells Peter: If you love me, “feed my sheep.” Like Peter, if we say we love the Lord, then we also are called to take care of and nourish His sheep. Who are the ones we have been given to care for right now in our lives? We ourselves make the love of the Lamb of God real and present for them. How are we doing with that?

— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

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