Let's talk about a figure that is present in the reading today. First the blood of the lamb in the Old Testament speaks about death, but what kind of death and why? In Theology we have the expression: "Sacrificial Vicar". Maybe you heard one of those words in the title "Parochial Vicar" as another way to say "Associate Pastor”, it means "the one who takes the place of someone". Father Carlos is St. Marks Parroquial Vicar and when I am not around, he immediately has all the authority of the pastor. We can refer to Father Peter Laird as the "Vicar General" because he takes the place of the Archbishop in certain matters. Remember who it was that came to entrust to me, and Pro Ecclesia Sancta, Saint Mark’s Church at the installation mass almost three years ago when I became the pastor of St. Marks. The archbishop couldn't come and so Father Laird was the one who took place of our Shepherd Archbishop John N.
In the Old Covenant, the blood of the lamb meant exactly that. All the consequences of the sins of Israel were re-directed to that animal. In the marvelous plan of God, since He does not act as an irresponsible father; He knows that our sins have consequences and He wants us to be responsible for them. What He is going to do is re-direct, with a "Sacrificial Vicar" in the form of The Lamb, what should happen to us. Someone else is dying instead of the people of Israel; as a way to say "I want to give them a chance to be live and be saved" only then can we understand what happens on the Cross. The God of the Old and New Testament is the same; in both He fulfills justice and mercy.
This is what we celebrate in The Triduum. I want you to see in Jesus the one who takes the place of the condemned: you and me.
The great sacrifice of Jesus is in the eyes of many the ones who suffered His passion: scourging, spit, a crown of thorns, nails, buffets, etc. No, the great sacrifice of Jesus was the one produced by OBEDIENCE: The offering of His Will to The Will of The Father. Jesus, as we see is assuming the consequences of the evil of the world since the moment of creation until the end of times. He became for us The Lamb of God so that He can take away the sins of the world.
There is a story that I would like to use to end this part and it is an anecdote of Good Pope John XXIII. When he was very sick He asked his assistant priest to give him the anointing of the sick and then he went to confession. After that he made this comment: “I am glad that we didn’t throw back the rocks that people throw to us”.
To be a true Christian is to choose to take the place of the condemned and guilty as an acceptable offering and to become the least, the servant of all. Only with that attitude can we really Love and stop looking for excuses for not doing it.