Saturday, January 5, 2013

“It is not hard to obey when we love the one whom we obey”

”Naturally we all have an inclination to command, and a great aversion to obey; and yet it is certain that it is more for our good to obey than to command; hence perfect souls have always had a great affection for obedience, and have found all their joy and comfort in it.”--Saint Francis of Sales, Doctor of the Church

(Gospel text: Jn 1:43-51)
Jesus decided to go to Galilee, and he found Philip.
And Jesus said to him, “Follow me.”
Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter.
Philip found Nathanael and told him,
“We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law,
and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
But Nathanael said to him,
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
“Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him.”
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
Nathanael answered him,
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Do you believe
because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?
You will see greater things than this.”
And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will see the sky opened and the angels of God
ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

“Follow me.”

All of Christianity comes down to this: Follow Jesus.

It is so simple, yet we make is so complicated. Follow Jesus where?  Follow Jesus when?  Am I already following Jesus?  Or am I walking down my own path?  Will he let me know if I am not following him?  Who or what do I have to leave to follow him? 

Will our response be to question Jesus when he does call, or will it be to have faith and to just go where he leads?

As I read and reflect on this Gospel story/parable that John writes, I could interpret how easily one person, Philip, responded to follow Christ; he did so even when questioned and challenged by Nathanael.

Do each of us respond as easily as Philip?

Jesus will come to meet us like he does Phillip and Nathanael, often in ways we do not expect, and will call us to follow him. 

How fully we respond to that call will determine everything.

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