My daughter Leng does not eat lamb chops or any lamb dish. This is a decision she says she had made, and it was for a reason. She also says that she would not be surprised if her daughter Maggie followed her example later.
We named Leng "Agnes" after Saint Agnes, a virgin and martyr for God in the early years of Christianity. When Maggie was born, she and Ryan decided to name her "Mary Agnes."
Saint Agnes is frequently depicted with a lamb by her side. Agnes thus became associated with “agnus,” the Latin for lamb.
And Leng knows this. So she says she does not want to eat herself (lol).
In the history of the Israelites, the Chosen People, lambs and other animals were killed and offered as sacrifices in expiation for their sins. After the sacrifice at which the animals were burned, the people ate the lamb.
But these animal sacrifices were not deemed sufficient to stand for man.
When God the Father sent His Divine Son to become incarnate in our Lord Jesus, He became the Lamb of God who sacrificed Himself to take away the sins of humankind.
John the Baptist identified Jesus thus when he pointed to Him as He came toward him and said: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. (John 1:29)
The people looking on did not know what John meant. But John knew because he was a prophet.
Later on as recounted in the Gospels, after Jesus fed the 5,000 with a couple of loaves of bread, He told them that He is the Bread of Life, the Manna come down from heaven, and that whoever eats this bread will have eternal life.
"Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. (John 6:53-56)
The people listening to Him found this hard to believe and they walked away, never to walk with Him again. All except his 12 apostles.
A short time later at the Passover, the Last Supper, Jesus took bread, blessed it and said "This is My Body." He took a cup of wine and said "This is the cup of My Blood, which will be shed for you." "Do this in memory of Me."
The following day Jesus offered Himself in sacrifice on the cross. The Lamb of God that John talked about was now slain and had taken upon Himself the sins of the world .
At Mass after the priest pronounces the words of consecration, he lifts up the Host saying: "Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those who are invited to the supper of the Lamb."
The Lamb of God has been sacrificed. But we need to eat the Lamb. That is Jesus, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.
Leng will not eat lamb chops or any lamb dish. But she will eat the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, as often as possible. Jesus' words will ring in her ears and touch her heart:
"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him."
This is what we do when we come up the altar to receive Holy Communion, Jesus, the Bread of Life, the Lamb of God!
May we receive Him worthily and with fervent faith! #
"Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”