St Marks Lenten Thoughts, Thursday before the First Sunday in Lent

Thursday before the First Sunday in Lent

Psalm 37:1-18 Deuteronomy 7:6-11 Titus 1:1-16 John 1:29-34

The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, which is also known as the Ghent Altarpiece, is one of my favorite pieces of art in all of history. If you have never seen it, a quick Google search will pop it up. Today’s Gospel is, in part, the inspiration for this multi-paneled 15th Century piece. The “lamb of God” imagery is one that is familiar to our ears and eyes, but it is always helpful to revisit. John is proclaiming to the crowd through proclamation who Jesus is and how he knows it. He is this innocent, small lamb who, like the Altarpiece depicts, will have to shed his blood. Recounting John’s story of the Holy Spirit, the Altarpiece depicts a dove is coming down upon the lamb who is on an altar. It is reassuring to know that this still happens at our own baptism.

If Jesus is to be our ultimate guide, we must follow him in baptism. The mystery of what is happening here is where faith becomes our guide. Defying logic, God wants to be in us. It is through baptism that is our first step in following Jesus’ example. As the saying goes, “We are often the only Gospel people will read.” To walk through life with others around us, and trying to be an example of Christ begins at the baptismal font. It is through this work of the Holy Spirit during our baptism that the True Light may shine. May we go forth being bold in our faith and in our baptism to proclaim Christ.

-R. Seth Thibodeaux

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