Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Fr. Ivan Olmo

“Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!” The word “behold” is an interesting word used often in scripture, in the sacrifice of the Mass as well as sacred liturgy. It is a word that requires an immediate, intimate response on our part.  It is meant to cause us to stop quickly and pay close, personal attention to what God is about to say and to draw our immediate attention to the message, the messenger and the one to whom the divine inspiration is directed to – that would be you.  We hear the Angel Gabriel sent by God goes to Mary to announce the Good News and God’s divine plan for saving us.  The Angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.”  Pay attention to what is being said and what is being shared because it is meant for you.  The Angel said behold, because God is doing something new, something unheard of and simply something quite amazing that is worth knowing and listening to. God the Father is sending his only begotten Son to enter into your fallen humanity for the sake of saving you that you may enter into the Lord’s divinity and rise with him into eternal glory.  That’s worth listening to so listen with intention, abandonment and without hesitation or reservation. In other words, stop, look, listen and behold God is speaking to you. We also hear John the Baptist call us and invite us at every Mass to do the same; to behold God, his message and his intention to save us. In this sacred moment, we are asked to stop what we are doing, to discontinue the internal conversations in our heads as well as the conversations taking place with those around us – to stop all train of thought and simply “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world.”  Not once but rather twice we are told to behold the miracle of Christ truly present in the Eucharist and to give Jesus our undivided attention, our unwavering heart and our undistracted minds and simply behold the gift, the sacrament, our salvation. This is definitely worth listening to by offering an attentive ear and listening heart. Some say it is difficult to pay attention at Mass when the truth is you are beholding someone or something else that could never save you or offer you eternal life so behold Him who came to save us.

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