Lectio Divina, 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 17, 2021
John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” — which translated means Teacher —, “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where Jesus was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” — which is translated Christ —. Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas” — which is translated Peter.
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”
In the gospel passages from the prior few weeks, we read about John the Baptist’s preaching regarding the coming of the Messiah. In today’s passage we are shown that his preaching was not in vain. He was right. Not only was he right about the Messiah’s arrival being near. He also stayed true to his word that he would step aside and direct people to the Messiah when he does come. Just as John the Baptist was a forerunner for Christ, he also paves the way for every true disciple, not just the ones we read about this week. “Behold, the Lamb of God” should be our mindset and testimony whenever we go to Mass, to remind ourselves and others that our focus should be on him, not each other. “Behold, the Lamb of God” ought to be our message whenever we tell people about Jesus. This carpenter from Nazareth is God’s offer of salvation. He is the one promised since the fall of man.
“What are you looking for?”
We’re looking for many things: money, entertainment, relationships, recognition, fame. The disciples were not looking for these things so much, though. They just wanted to follow Jesus. They were looking for the Messiah. Knowing that, Jesus invites them to follow him. We can’t be sure why the disciples chose to follow Jesus at first, but Jesus uses their willingness to follow him to show them the way to the Father. We may start out not knowing why we should follow Christ, or having the wrong reasons, but if we stay close to Christ he will make our paths straight. May we strive to look for Jesus in our lives instead of less satisfying things.
“Come, and you will see.”
Jesus is calling his disciples to not only heed his words, but to follow in his footsteps. It’s no coincidence that by being his followers we also become his witnesses, because by following him we witness his wondrous deeds and his holy example firsthand. We may not have Christ incarnate to follow as the first disciples did, but we can be examples to each other through our own holiness and by telling others the ways in which God has worked in our lives. Sometimes God expects us to walk by faith. Other times he invites us to “come and see” the substantial proof of a life of faith. If we invite each other to come and see how God is alive in our lives, as the Body of Christ we can help sustain the faith of others. Let’s be vocal about telling people the ways in which God has intervened in our lives. We can all use such stories to boost our faith. We become aware of how God is working in our lives by spending more time with him and learning more about him, his character, his tendencies, his personality traits. Yes, Jesus has all these things and we can learn what they are even today. This week’s Gospel talks about how the disciples spent the day with him. That’s how we get to know him. Carve out time in your day to get to know him. He will reveal himself to you, and that will help you sense his presence in your life.
“We have found the Messiah”
We can put our hope in human beings, governments, and worldly promises. But Jesus the Messiah comes with a different source of hope. He calls us to look beyond this world, to the eternity that will come for those who put their faith in him and in his father. It is the only hope worth holding onto, the only hope we have that will withstand the letdowns of this world, which is not our true home. Reflect upon the joy of the disciples upon finding the Messiah, the one who they knew was the greatest source of hope, the only true hope. Meditate on Andrew’s tone of voice when he tells his brother Simon that he has found the Messiah. How joyful must he have been? How do you think Simon Peter reacted? This was probably a moment they had been waiting for their whole lives.
Jesus, we rejoice that we have found you. Really, it was you who found us through your resilient pursuit. Just as the disciples sought you in today’s Gospel, we pray that we may continue to do so every day of our lives. Thank you for pursuing us even after we fall. Help us notice how you are near and always calling us to follow you more closely.
Sometimes God’s call is not direct. Sometimes it is in the subtext in our lives, the subtle happenings that often pass by unnoticed; and if we’re not paying attention we will completely miss what he is saying to us. God’s words are life. They are lifegiving, but also life itself. We meet God in Scripture, but when we are in full communion with him we can recognize him speaking through everything around us as well. Find a quiet place and just listen to what God wants to say to you through this Sunday’s Gospel.
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