Monday, November 27, 2006
Photo by PinkMoose
34th Monday B(27 Nov 2006) Rv 14. 1-3, 4b-5; Ps 24; Lk 21. 1-4 [see them here]
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Lamb and Mary, Jesus and Us
Do Mary, the little-lamb owner, and Jesus, the Lamb, have anything in common? Before you decide, the image of Lamb for Jesus is rooted in the paschal lamb of Israel. Jesus is our passover. In addition the Book of Revelation portrays Jesus as the Lamb in 10 different places. Lamb for Jesus is an image that is not at all fanciful because it is rooted in the experience of faith, the experience of real men and women, who are why we are here.
Of course, lamb was one of Jesus’ own images for us. We are the lamb Jesus constantly seeks, finds and places on his shoulders with tender joy and love. Our Lamb is also our Shepherd.
Many people think of the Book of Revelation as only concerned with future events. The Book of Revelation is more concerned with announcing in images piled on images--visual, auditory, numbers and feelings which always escape human words--images communicating that God is in control of history. God controls history even contrary to appearances and human reckoning.
That means that the Book of Revelation is concerned about the present, not according to time or calendars, but according to the vocation of God’s people.
Is it becoming clearer that Mary, the little-lamb owner, and Jesus, the Lamb, might have something in common? Remember the rhyme?
“Mary had a little lamb, ... its fleece was white as snow.
“And everywhere that Mary went, ...the lamb was sure to go.”
The final verses of our selection from Revelation begin: [those ransomed by the Lamb...are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. The end of rhyme calls to us, too. The rhyme ends, you recall, with the teacher speaking to the schoolchildren,
"Why does the lamb love Mary so?"..." the eager children cry. ...
"Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know," the teacher did reply.”
Jesus, our Lamb, is different.
Even when we do not love our passover Lamb, Jesus, Jesus never ceases to love us. That is not in common with Mary, the little-lamb owner, or indeed any of us. That uniqueness of Jesus, our Lamb, is cause for our tender joy and love in each present moment.
[The history of the 1830 rhyme by Sarah Hale, has intersected with Thomas Edison, Paul McCartney, Blues singers and even the Smashing Pumpkins. Curious? Click here.]