Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What are you looking for.................. Really?

"To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend, without a steady struggle for truth, that is not living but existing." – Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Gospel text (Jn 1:35-42): As John was standing with two of his disciples, Jesus walked by, and John looked at him and said, «There is the Lamb of God». On hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. He turned and saw them following, and He said to them, «What are you looking for?». They answered, «Rabbi (which means Master), where are you staying?». Jesus said, «Come and see». So they went and saw where he stayed and spent the rest of that day with him. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard what John had said and followed Jesus. Early the next morning he found his brother Simon and said to him, «We have found the Messiah» (which means the Christ), and he brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, «You are Simon, son of John, but you shall be called Cephas» (which means Rock).

“What are you looking for,” which is another way of saying, “What do you want”? Like so many people throughout the ages who are attracted to Jesus but do not know what they want, these followers said, and I paraphrase it the way I understand it, “Uh, well, we, um, where are you staying?” Really? That is what they want? They are following Jesus merely because they are curious as to where he lives? I take it that they did not really know what to say. They knew they wanted something from Jesus but did not yet know what. Jesus’ response? “Come and you will see.” Sure, they saw where he was staying but when Andrew found his brother Simon he did not say, “We found out where a great Rabbi lives.” No, he said, “We have found the Messiah.” Andrew is one of the great evangelists of the gospels. He follows Jesus, sees for himself, shares what he has found with others, brings them to Jesus, and then steps back and lets Jesus do his work. Like Jesus, he says, “Come and see.”

Exalted, they feel the urge to communicate what they have seen and lived to the first ones they may meet: «We have found the Messiah!» (Jn 1:41). Many saints have also done it similarly. St. Francis of Assisi , love wounded, went about streets and squares, hamlets and woods, shouting: «Love is not loved!».

In our Christian life, the essential part is to allow Jesus to gaze into us, to go and see where he stays, to stay with him and to share. And, afterwards, to announce it. This is the way and procedure followed by the disciples and saints. It is our way.

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