Our reading this Sunday is taken from the later verses of the first chapter of John, which is generally read during the Christmas season. These verses cover the early days of the ministry of Jesus. We have a last glimpse of John the Baptist, who heralds Jesus for a second time as ‘the Lamb of God’. Jesus is the one who is to lay down his life like an innocent lamb ‘for the sins of the world’. This is the purpose of his coming into the world, the purpose of the Son of God ‘becoming flesh’ and ‘living among us’.
Attention quickly moves away from John the Baptist to the conversation between Jesus and the two disciples. They follow Jesus, but he challenges them with the question ‘what are you seeking?’ This is translated here as ‘what do you want?’ They counter this question with another, ‘where do you live?’ Jesus invites them: ‘Come and see!’
The time they spend with Jesus makes a deep impression on them. Andrew cannot contain his enthusiasm. He is convinced that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. He calls his brother Simon Peter. When Jesus meets Simon Peter, he does not hesitate to enlist him among the disciples and immediately gives him the new name, Cephas, which means Rock.
These verses are marked by the enthusiastic response of the first disciples to Jesus and their eagerness to spread the news about him. This eagerness is an echo of the first reading, in which Samuel is called as a boy to be a prophet. When the good news of salvation comes, when the encounter with the word of God arrives, it cannot be contained or suppressed. It is imperative to let others know!
‘What are you seeking?’ What would be your response to Jesus’ question?
How often do you invite others to ‘come and see’ something of your life of faith?
We pray that, as another year begins, we may meet Jesus with new enthusiasm.
Let us have the courage to make Jesus known to others, as the first disciples did.