In Today’s Gospel, John sees Jesus and exclaims: ” Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” He doesn’t say “the sins of the world;” he uses the singular: “the sin of the world” (peccatum in Latin, ten hamarten in Greek).
We all sin and we sin in different ways and at different times. We can speak of “sins” (in the plural), but all our sins are of a piece: they are different manifestations of our sinfulness. The liturgy alternates between these two perspectives, acknowledging that “you take a away the sin of the world” ( Glory to Gd) and also that “you take away the sins of the world” (Lamb of God). The recently developed concept of social sin is an attempt to articulate the sinfulness of humankind. It isn’t our “original” sin that matters most, our fundamental option for ourselves over and above God. The rest is expression, like colouring the picture or connecting the dots.
He wonder of Jesus is that he takes away not only the sins but also the sin. He fill us with the Spirit of sinlessness, who will “make us one in peace and love.”
The disturbance which so frequently occur in the social order result in part from the natural tensions of economic, political and social forms. But at a deeper level they flow from man’s pride of selfishness, which contaminates even the social sphere.