Glancing up from the riverbank, the Baptist “looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’” (Jn 1:36). His disciples understood the subtext: Follow the Lamb.
Where, O Lamb, are you going, where do you abide? This is the yearning at the heart of discipleship: desiring to abide with the Lord. To such a desire, the Lamb extends the invitation: “Come and see.” Come, follow me, walk with me to where I am going (cf. Jn 1:36-39).
They came and they saw and they received a commandment to love. Follow this commandment, said the Lamb, and “you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (Jn 15:10). Here, at last, is the answer: the Lamb of God abides in the love of the Father.
Shepherd me, O Lamb, to such an abiding pasture. The Lamb of God leads other sheep to share in his Father’s love. His sheep follow the Lamb because he came “that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10). He draws into the abundant life of the Father’s love all who abide in him.
How do we abide in you, O Lamb? “By this we may be sure that we are in him: he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 Jn 2:5-6). Follow the Baptist’s glance. Watch where the Lamb walks.
Where do you walk, O Lamb? Since “all we like sheep have gone astray,” he “like a lamb that is led to the slaughter” walked the way of the cross (Isa 53:6, 7). Come, take up your cross and follow me (cf. Matt 10:38).
Where does this cross lead, O Lamb? The Seer saw a great multitude, clothed in white, those “who follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Rev 14:4). Having endured great tribulation, they stand before the throne of God. No more tears, no more toil, no more silent pain, no more crushing doubt, no more crippling anxiety: “For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Rev 7:13, 17). The Lamb leads through the cross to the abundance of eternal life.
Where will I get the strength to endure, O Lamb? Lifting up the Host, the priest says, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” Follow the Lamb.
Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. (used with permission)