“The Father willed that his blessed and glorious Son, whom he gave to us and who was born for us, should through his own blood offer himself as a sacrificial victim on the altar of the cross. This was to be done not for himself through whom all things were made, but for our sins.” ~ St. Francis of Assisi
Moses did as God requested. He went to Pharaoh and told him that God had ordered that His people be let out of captivity. Needless to say, Pharaoh was not impressed either with the messenger or the message. He told Moses that he would not set the Hebrews free.
Moses came back to him again and again with plagues of increasing intensity. Finally, Pharaoh brought the last curse upon his people when he ordered the slaughter of all first born Hebrews. Moses told the Hebrews that they were to take a lamb and slaughter it, spreading the blood on the lintel of their doors so that they Angel of Death would pass over their houses as he came to bring destruction to the first born of the Egyptians, man and beast alike. Because of the death of all the first born Egyptians, Pharaoh relented and let the Hebrews go.
The Passover is celebrated annually by God’s people. They remind themselves of the time that God set them free from captivity. We might not be physically enslaved; however, there is a different captivity in which we often find ourselves. That would be the captivity of sin.
The Paschal Lamb, Jesus Christ, shed His blood for us so that we could be set free from sin and the ramifications of sin: eternal death. Jesus’ death and resurrection offers to us the hope of everlasting life. In order for that to happen, though, we have to allow the Lamb to set us free. We need to let go of the things that enslave us and reach out our hands to God.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the Blessed Virgin Mary today. Since December 8th fell on a Sunday, the celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception falls to the next day. It is not a Holy Day of Obligation today; but, the Solemnity is celebrated. We thank God for Mary’s “yes” which gave to us the Paschal Lamb.
The symbol for the Jesse Tree today is a lamb.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God for the grace to let go of the sin that shackles you.