Behold the Lamb of God
Dear St. Louis Parishioners,
Last week, I shared the significance of the west window in the sanctuary, featuring the deer drinking from the stream flowing from the cross, a symbol of our thirst for Christ, who alone satisfies. This week, let’s turn toward the East, where the window directly acr
oss from it pictures the fount of that saving stream. It features the image of the Lamb of God, whose Sacred Heart is pierced for our salvation on the cross. In the image, the flow of blood from the side of the Lamb is pouring into the chalice, again a sign of the saving stream, which fills the chalice at every Mass. The image of Christ as the Lamb is so rich in Scripture. It refers back to the ways Christ prepared us for Himself in the Old Testament, ranging from Abraham’s confidence that “God Himself will provide the Lamb,” to the Passover Lamb, and even the prophecy of Isaiah that the Messiah would be led like a lamb to the slaughter. Yet, it also is found in Revelation, when St. John is given a vision of heaven, which includes the Lamb, who is slain and yet stands. Thus, the Lamb stands not only as a sign of Christ’s sacrifice, but also of the promise of final victory (notice the banner the lamb carries), afforded by His Resurrection. Thus, at every Mass, we speak the words of St. John the Baptist: Behold the Lamb of God. At every Mass, the Passover is fulfilled, His Paschal Mystery is made present and we share in a true foretaste of that heavenly banquet. In both His Sacrifice and His Victorious Resurrection, the Lamb reminds us of God’s enduring faithfulness, as He used this image of the Lamb to prepare us for Christ from of old. This same image was found on the wall of our house chapel at the Josephinum, where I attended seminary (Fr. Stirniman, as well, for part of his time, btw) and actually was directly across from the seat where I sat for an entire year. Thus, I chose to put this image (see pictured) on my prayer card at ordination, or “rookie card,” as I like to call it. These two windows in our sanctuary were confirmations for me, when I first arrived, that I am right where I belong. May they be reminders to all of us of the One, who gives Himself to satisfy our hearts and give us Victory.
In Christ through Mary, Fr. Gifford
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!