By Chaplain (Capt.) Bernardino Yebra
Special to GUIDON
Have you noticed how many sports teams use powerful animals as their team names?
Think of teams such as the Chicago Bulls, Clemson Tigers, Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Obviously, the name is supposed to represent the strength and majesty of the animal but, too, the abilities and prowess of the team’s players.
These choices of names are supposed to intimidate the opponents by projecting the image of victory, power and invincibility.
And so, when we encounter the Son of God, we expect an even more powerful image; something which will express his awesome authority. But there is no intimidating animal which could do justice to Jesus Christ’s absolute power over the whole of creation.
John the Baptist conveys to us what animal is the most fitting to describe Jesus: The lamb.
“Look there! The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
It is as if John is saying, “Look here! What you see is far beyond what you expected. Are you shocked? You thought you would find a powerful animal; instead, you see the simple lamb, nothing more.”
Indeed, the thoughts of God are very different from our thoughts.
When God sent his Son into the world, it was not to conquer it by force, not with vicious threat, nor with severe conditions, but rather with mercy. He came to die for our sins in utter weakness, like a meek and defenseless lamb.
There is a Latin proverb, “Homo homini lupus” which means “Man is a wolf to man.” It’s a negative view of human nature, but one that is sometimes true.
We can be cruel toward one another. But change starts with us. It begins with changing ourselves — from wolves into lambs.
Jesus, the Lamb of God, is our model and the perfect team name for the whole world.
(Editor’s note: Yebra is the 84th Chemical Battalion chaplain.)