John 1: 35–42
John the Baptist, standing with two of his disciples, upon
seeing Jesus exclaims, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” When Jesus notices that John’s disciples are following him, he says to them, “What are you looking for?” They reply, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Jesus responds, “Come, and you will see.” Andrew, one of the disciples, goes to find his brother Simon, tells him they have found the Messiah, and introduces his brother to Jesus. Jesus looks at him and says, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas (which is translated Peter).”
There is a true story about a professor who was invited to give a lecture at a major conference on religion. The subject of his lecture was the nature of God. His many hours of research were rewarded by the enthusiastic response he received upon completion of the lecture. On the flight back to his university, however, his euphoric satisfaction about his work was shattered when it dawned on him, as he later reported: “I talked to everyone about God, but God.”
We can easily have an experience similar to that of the professor as he was preparing his lecture about God. With a little research we can discover many interesting, even beautiful things about Jesus and his disciples.
Thus, in today’s gospel passage, we discover that when the two disciples ask Jesus where he is staying or dwelling the question isn’t simply about a street address. John uses the same Greek verb (translated as “staying or dwelling”) when Jesus at the Last Supper tells his disciples that he “dwells” in the Father and the Father “dwells” in him (John 14: 10–11). We also discover that when Jesus says “Come, and you will see,” the essential meaning of “seeing” is the seeing of faith (John 9). Only with that seeing can the disciples know where Jesus truly dwells, with-in the Father.
Thus far there is no life-implication for us beyond appreciation of a narrative about Jesus and his disciples. A life-changing implication occurs only when we realize that Jesus is addressing each of us today in as personal a way as he addressed the two disciples. The gospel is essentially about an encounter with the Risen Lord now, not about historical knowledge, however orthodox, about Jesus. The historical-critical method of scholarship (like John the Baptist) can give us valuable information about Jesus, but this knowledge cannot enable us to see Jesus in faith—that seeing is a gift of the Spirit.
Because faith means a personal union of friendship with Christ through his Spirit, life implications will be unique and particular for each person. Nevertheless, from the life of Christ and the lives of the saints, certain patterns emerge that are actualized in the particularity of each person’s life. Union with the Risen Lord means to share his relationship with the Father. It means that each of us is able to hear with Christ “You are my beloved” and to say with Christ “Thy will be done.”
To be in communion with Christ means to pray, always and everywhere. The second reading of today’s Mass (1 Corinthians 7: 32–35) shows us that a disciple’s personal union with Christ through his Spirit is the foundation of choices about moral behavior. Finally, we see that through union with Christ the saints are not defeated by the setbacks of life. Saint Paul speaks for them all when he wrote: “What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us” (Romans 8: 35–37).
Campion P. Gavaler, O.S.B.
Digest of Articles from Catholics Blogs and Websites
January 18, 2014
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B—January 18, 2015
“What are you looking for?” Jesus asked this question of two men who had begun following Him. Did He already know the answer?
Gospel (Read Jn 1:35-42)
Today, St. John the Apostle, describing the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, tells us that John the Baptist made a comment to two of his own disciples as Jesus walked by them: “Behold, the Lamb of God.” We are used to hearing Jesus spoken of in this way, but it would have been very odd in that day. Jews knew lambs as sacrificial animals. Occasionally, they thought of themselves metaphorically as God’s sheep (as in “The LORD is my shepherd,” Ps 23). However, for John the Baptist to speak of a particular man in this particular way—well, we can see what effect it had: “The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.”
Second Sunday: The God of the Upset Applecart
As we exit the Christmas season and begin the season of the year, the Church takes us to the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. For the next two weeks we have various accounts of the calling of his closest disciples. This week’s is taken from the Gospel of John. Two individuals, Andrew and one other, are disciples of John the Baptist and are present when the Baptist points to Jesus and calls him the Lamb of God.
Blessed Mother Knows Best – Passing on the faith at home with Marian piety
During his installation at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago last November, Archbishop Blase Cupich challenged those in attendance to pass on the faith to young people through their “authenticity of life, where words match deeds.” The message was not just for Catholic teachers and youth ministers, but also for fathers, who have a special, God-given mission of handing on the faith to their own children.
Balancing Culture and Christianity
Culture is a word with a depth of meaning – a mixture of pain, joy, pride, love, restriction, and tradition. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definitions include “the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time” and “a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.”
One person can have aspects of several cultures. For example, I am American, Midwestern, Catholic, and Caucasian as well as a college student, avid reader, and actress. All of these labels can put me into different groups of people and influence my personality and choices. That is not to say that we are our cultures; they impact and help to form us but do not solely define us.
Don’t Be Like Jesus…
In other words, there is more, much more to being a disciple of Jesus Christ than simply trying to imitate him. How dull is that?
Instead we’re talking about becoming Jesus Christ alive in the world today. He wants to do more, much more than we can ask or imagine, and he does so through the sacramental economy.
Judgement Comes to Us All
Last year, Family Guy aired an episode that included a brief look at how various religions view death and the afterlife. When they covered Christianity, they offered up this little tidbit to illustrate: