Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Today's first reading (Jeremiah 23:5-8) and Gospel (Matthew 1: 18-25) both contain that incredible word "Behold!" The priest noted this in his homily today, for which I'm grateful.

"Behold" is different from words like "Look!" or "See!" or even "See here!" To behold something is to, as my dictionary puts it, "perceive through the use of the mental faculty."

I think of Pilate, who, in presenting the horribly scourged Jesus to the people, didn't merely say "Look at this man" but rather "Ecce homo!" Behold the man! Comprehend what he has already suffered!

I think of John the Baptist who, upon seeing Jesus, cried out "Ecce Angus Dei!" Behold the Lamb of God! Realize Who this Man is! Internalize the meaning of Whom you are witnessing!

Behold. It's a great word, especially when used to introduce Christ.

I'm grateful that, before Communion, the priest actually said while lifting up the Body of Christ:

"Behold the Lamb of God!"