Saint Vincent Archabbey
2 Ordinary Time
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Classic
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, oWill 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.
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time,
Modern Gospel –John 1: 35 - 42
We begin ordinary time with this account of the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, which means that in a few short weeks we have advanced thirty years in the life of John the Baptist and Jesus. John was faithful to his vocation and was preparing the way for the Lord, by calling people to repentance as a preparation for the Messiah. He is the last Prophet and a powerful preacher, who attracted some disciples. We see the fidelity and humility of John when he said to two of his disciples as Jesus passed by; "Behold, the Lamb of God." These two disciples left John to follow Jesus, and their initial conversation was brief and telling. Jesus asked them; "What are you looking for?" and they answered his question with a question, "Where are you staying?" Jesus gave them the invitation; "Come and you will see."
les, Andrew the brother of Peter, and John, the brother of James, followed Jesus and never turned back. It was such an important encounter that they remembered the exact time of the day when they met Jesus, four in the afternoon. Meeting Jesus was life changing for them and the moment they first met him would never be forgotten. My father and his army buddies would talk about where they were when they heard of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Saint (Mother) Theresa of Calcutta would talk about where she was when she heard the strong, clear call from God to work with the poorest of the poor while on a train to Darjeeling. And we all probably have events in our lives that we remember with such vividness even to the smallest detail.
This was the experience of Andrew and James.
The effect it had on each of them is obvious as they remained followers of Jesus and became two of the twelve apostles. We also know that Andrew was so touched by his initial encounter with Jesus that he went to share the news with his brother Peter, telling him, "We have found the Messiah." It seems that James acted similarly and shared this encounter with his brother John. From this brief, initial encounter with Jesus we have four of the twelve apostles. According to the Scriptures this took place before Jesus ever preached in a synagogue or performed a miracle. This part of his ministry would take place later. It was being in the presence of Jesus that attracted and touched these men, and led them to change their lives. They left everything to follow him, and ultimately Andrew, Peter, and James willingly laid down their lives in martyrdom out of their love and faithfulness to Jesus, while John, though not a martyr, suffered much because of his faith.
In our journey of faith many of us were probably Baptized as infants and brought up in the faith. However, there was some point in our lives when we freely decided to follow Jesus, or to continue to follow him. There are moments that stand out for us when we experienced the powerful and beautiful presence of Jesus. This could have been when we received one of the Sacraments, or on a retreat day or weekend, or at a time and place when we least expected to encounter Jesus. As we begin the Liturgical Season known as Ordinary Time, take time to reflect on these personal encounters with the lord, whether they be ordinary or extraordinary. Allow the memory of these experiences to be the beginning of a year of growth in our relationship with the Lord. Like, Andrew, James, Peter and John may it be a lifetime of growing in our experience of God’s love.
Father Killian Loch, O.S.B.