The Perspective of
2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time A
January 19, 2014
today’s Gospel, John sees Jesus and exclaims: “Look
there! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” He
doesn’t say “the sins of the world;” he uses
the singular: “the sin of the world” (peccatum in
Latin, ten hamarten in Greek).
The recently developed concept of social sin is an attempt
to articulate the sinfulness of humankind. It isn’t just
that we do wrong things: the fact is that we are basically “off
center.” It is our “original” sin that matters
most, our fundamental option for ourselves over and above God.
The rest is expression, like coloring the picture or connecting
We all sin, and we sin in different ways and at different times. We can speak
of “sins” (in the plural), but all our sins are of a piece: they are
different manifestations of our sinfulness. The liturgy alternates between these
two perspectives, acknowledging that “you take away the sin of the world” (Glory
to God) and also that “you take away the sins of the world” (Lamb of
The wonder of Jesus is that he takes away not only the sins but also the sin.
He fills us with the Spirit of sinlessness, who will “make us one in peace
The disturbances which so frequently occur in the social order result in part from the natural tensions of economic, political, and social forms. But at a deeper level they flow from man’s pride and selfishness, which contaminate even the social sphere.
Vatican II, Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (1965) 25
published in book form,
To Love and Serve:
Lectionary Based Meditations, by
This entire three year cycle is available at
1994, Gerald Darring.
All Rights Reserved.
Art by Martin Erspamer,
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical
Year (A, B, and C).
Used by permission of Liturgy Training
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