Christmas ended too soon. The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord was last Monday. The Church’s great feast days were compacted into a few short days. Now we look at seven weeks and it will be Ash Wednesday.
The weeks between The Baptism of the Lord and Ash Wednesday are similar to Lent but not quite as intense. We are always to prepare. We are to make sacrifices. And we are to continue to pray. These weeks are to remind us why.
The gospel today follows the gospel of the Baptism of the Lord. We have heard God say this is my Son. Listen to Him. People are challenging John if Jesus is the Messiah. John offers proof. He saw the Spirit descend upon Jesus. He heard God’s voice. John knows Jesus to be the Lamb of God. Jesus will be the sacrifice.
As we listen to the gospel readings, we learn quickly that Jesus forgives sins. He wants us to come to Him to receive the mercy and grace He so generously bestows upon us. Jesus also teaches that He has a specific mission. He is to preach the gospel message to all peoples. He could stay anywhere and have people come to Him. He prefers to go to the people.
There is one more point that does not get attention. Jesus came “to take away the sin of the world.” Notice it says ‘sin’ not ‘sins’. What is meant by the ‘sin’? Is there only one?
The ‘sin’ of the world is mankind introducing sin into the world. From the time of Adam and Eve till today and in the future Jesus must make restitution for each sin. Sin is separation from God. Separation from God is death. That means sin, any sin leads to death. Jesus makes restitution for each of our sins that we might have eternal life with Him.
When we turn away from sin and turn toward God, we must make restitution for our sins as we are members of the Body of Christ. Jesus grants His grace and mercy to strengthen us and to show us the way. Seek eternal life. Begin Lenten preparations now. Be ready for the best Lent ever.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen