Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Lamb

"Though harshly treated, he submitted and did not open his mouth; Like a lamb led to slaughter or a sheep silent before shearers, he did not open his mouth." These words from the prophecy of Isaiah echo in our hearts today, as we see John the Baptist point to Jesus and proclaim, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.’  Jesus is Lamb, the Servant of God who will bear the sins and guilt of all God's people out of love. We have been cleansed in the Blood of this Lamb. 

Holy Church tells us that Jesus came to this world in the midst of universal silence: “While gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone, Thy all-powerful Word leaped from Heaven, from the royal throne.”
The first thirty years of the life of Jesus were wrapped in an impressive silence. Afterward came the three years of His public life. This was the time for speaking, the time for communicating with men. Yet even this period contains marvels of silence. Silence is something so characteristic of Christ’s Passion that the prophet commented on it, saying, “Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.”
In His Eucharistic life, does not that unfathomable silence enveloping the Eucharist impress us profoundly and communicate itself to us when we approach?
Silence is not classified as a virtue, but it is the atmosphere in which virtues develop. At the same time, it is a sign of their maturity. Thus, just as we know that when the golden spikes of wheat appear in the field, the grain is ripe, so also, when a virtue is tinted with silence, we perceive that it is reaching maturity.

Agnus Dei, Francisco de Zurbarán. 38 cm × 62 cm. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid. Quotation from When God is Silent by Archbishop Luis M. Martinez.