After all the excitement of the feasts of Christmas we come back to the day-to-day life of Ordinary Time. Sometimes I think it is misnamed as surely there is no ‘ordinary time’ with Jesus! In Sunday’s reading we have the reading from St. John (although it is the year of Mark – we are back to him next week). Jesus says to those who come to see Him, those who come to find out more, ‘Come and see.’ It is as simple and as life-changing as that.
I find it interesting that even before Jesus says ‘Come and see’ he asks, ‘What do you want?’ This is not like someone asking us what we want for Christmas or our birthday. Jesus is asking a fundamentally important question and He asks each one of us the same question, ‘What do you want?’ we have all heard these words many times in our lives, said perhaps, with many different emphases and tones of voice! We need to forget those and listen to what Jesus is saying to you, to me, when we hear or read this Gospel. Perhaps we don’t know what we want at this time or maybe it is not very clear. Maybe we do know but we think it is not possible or it is unreachable. We are always encouraged to pray for what we want.
Let us just look at two of the characters in this Gospel: John the Baptist and Andrew and see if we can follow their example. John is very humble –in the true sense of the word. He knows what his role is: it is to show people to Jesus, it is to be the opening act, as it were. He points the way to Jesus, away from himself.
Andrew elsewhere in the Gospels is just referred to as the brother of Simon Peter but here it is Andrew who has the first encounter with Jesus. We don’t hear the name of, or what happened to, John’s other disciple who went with Andrew to Jesus. If is good to reflect on the words that Andrew used early the next morning to describe the experience to Peter, ‘We have found the Messiah’. From those words so many lives were changed, but here particularly Simon Peter’s as Andrew ‘took him to Jesus’.
In our own lives we hope we have followed the example of John and Andrew, bringing or guiding people to Jesus. Sometimes we have probably done it even without knowing. Sometimes we will do it automatically and at other times it is planned. Sometimes we are moved to do or say something and that triggers something in the other person.
Although this Sunday’s Gospel is a familiar one, it gives us a chance to be grateful for the many opportunities we have to bring others to Jesus.
Sr. Margaret Mattison