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).
The Christian life for an ordinary Christian is based on his/her search for Christ and become everyday Christ for others. Since we are weak and fragile, this search continue on a daily routine. For the great saints, they don’t search, because they are already in Christ. But then, for them and to us all, it begins with listening and searching, ends up in a simple encounter with Christ. Some are lucky like John the Baptist to have the gift of seeing Christ directly, and others like you and me, we listen to John Baptist and follow the person, Jesus.
All those who desire to follow Christ, He is inviting us to ‘come and see’, to have a personally experience with Him. For some it takes some time and we need to be patient and for others, it is simultaneous. What is important is to spend time with Jesus and enrich ourselves with this daily encounter. In our daily life, it may be through a neighbour, or through a friend, it may be through a patient for the doctor or through the doctor for a patient. It is always possible through our anger, joy, pain or even shame, Jesus is asking us to enter in dialogue and discover His presence in our life.
This personal encounter with Christ, will force us like Andrew to invite our dear and near ones to taste this joy. Just like in our case, that we were send as missionaries by Christ, they too will be transformed by Christ and will become the missionaries of hope and joy. This is possible, only if we learn to remain in Christ with patience and discover all that He has to offer to us.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
The first disciples longing for the Messiah, by John Chrysostom (349-407 AD)
"Andrew, after having stayed with Jesus and after having learned what he did, did not keep the treasure to himself but hurries and races to his brother in order to let him know the good things Jesus has shared with him. But why hasn’t John mentioned what they talked about? How do we know this is why they 'stayed with him'?... Observe what Andrew says to his brother, 'We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.' You see how, in a short time, he demonstrates not only the persuasiveness of the wise teacher but also his own longing that he had from the beginning. For this word, 'we have found,' is the expression of a soul that longs for his presence, looking for his coming from above, and is so ecstatic when what he is looking for happens that he hurries to tell others the good news. This is what brotherly affection, natural friendship, is all about when someone is eager to extend a hand to another when it comes to spiritual matters. Also see how he adds the article, for he does not say 'Messiah' but 'the Messiah.' They were expecting the Christ who would have nothing in common with the others." (excerpt from HOMILIES ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 19.1)
«‘Rabbi, where are you staying?’. Jesus said, ‘Come and see’»
Fr. Josep Mª MASSANA i Mola OFM
Today, the Gospel reminds us of the vocational circumstances of Jesus' first disciples. To get ready for the advent of the Messiah, John and his friend Andrew had listened to, and followed for a while, John the Baptist. One day, John the Baptist, points out to Jesus, by calling him the Lamb of God. On hearing this, John and Andrew understand that He is the long-waited Messiah! And, by leaving the Baptist, they set to follow Jesus.
Jesus hears them behind. He turns and sees them following. Jesus and those unassuming men exchange glances. They remain captivated. Jesus' gaze turns their hearts over and they feel the need to stay on with him: «Where are you staying?» (Jn 1:38), they ask him. «Come and see» (Jn 1:39), answers Jesus. He invites them to remain, to see, to meditate.
They go, and they contemplate Him while listening to Him. And they spend the evening and the night with Him. It is a time of closeness and confidences. A time of love sharing. They remain with Him until the following morning. When the Sun rises over the world.
Stirred up with the flame of that «sunrise which shines upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death...» (cf. Lk 1:78-79), they set forth to irradiate it. 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. Frances, 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.