«Behold, the Lamb of God!»; «Rabbi, where do you live?»; «Come and you will see»; «We have found the Messiah!».
These four expressions of the extraordinary pericope from John’s Gospel, that we have heard, enclose – one might say – the entire Christian experience, in its dimension of encounter, questioning, following as discipleship and proclamation. And we can understand the life of St Joseph Cafasso, whose birth’s bicentenary we celebrate today (1811 – 15 January – 2011), only in the light of these four fundamental dimensions of the Christian being and of the priestly being.
I intentionally stress the word “being” since, in communion with the unbroken Christian tradition and the common Church doctrine, I am intimately persuaded that the Priesthood is not just a particular function, exercised by some Christians; rather, as Cafasso clearly intended it, it involves being configured to Christ and therefore, an “ontological change” of him who receives the Call and the laying of the hands as a gift, with the transmission of the Spirit.
The first expression, «Behold the Lamb of God!», enshrines the permanent vocation of the Church. The only purpose of our structures, our efforts, our celebrations, is to indicate, with force, truth, transparency and determination, the Lamb of God present in the world.
H.E. Mauro Piacenza