COLLECT OF THE WEEK
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. - Book of Common Prayer, p. 217
A disciple is a follower, student, believer, admirer, or devotee of someone or some cause. As a teenager I briefly acted like a “disciple” of the musician James Taylor. In college, it was C.S. Lewis – I read every word, and probably wore tweed jackets and developed a British accent.
In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist identifies one who would in time gather disciples from every corner of the earth. “Look!”, John cries out, “this is the one!” Who does John reveal with his announcement? Whose disciples are we?
John first declares Him the Lamb of God. This is a shocking title – lambs were used for sacrifices. We are disciples of a sacrificial lamb? John goes on – “who takes away the sin of the world”. Takes away sin – meaning removes or separates from, and not only from Israel, but the world. As His disciples, how will this be part of our experience?
John continues – He is the one on whom the Spirit remains, and the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. He is God’s Chosen One. This is someone in whom the very life of God dwells, and who is able to impart that life to His disciples.
May God grant us the grace to remember whose disciples we are and to become more devoted followers of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.