|Memorial, Saint Elizabeth Ann
The gospel writers do not waste much time in taking us to the very heart of the matter. In fact in John’s gospel there is no mention of the nativity and birth of Christ. John’s concern is very fundamental to being in relationship with Jesus.
In the gospel reading John the Baptist identifies Jesus to two of his disciples as the “Lamb of God.” What follows is a short conversation between these two disciples and Jesus. On noticing the disciples who are following him, Jesus asks them, “What are you looking for?” In response, they answer, “Where do you stay?” and Jesus responds, “Come and see.”
On the surface this appears to be a rather disjointed conversation. In truth it is a profound dialogue. “What are you looking for” is Jesus’ question not only to the disciples, but also to me. What is it that I am longing for? What are my innermost desires? What is it that my heart longs for? What fills my heart with lasting peace and joy? Where is that place that provides the lasting comfort and security?
“Where do you stay?” the disciples ask of Jesus. They want to know what he is about, what are his intentions, what is his message. His answer is not an explanation, it is an invitation to “come and see.” Jesus did not offer a parable or an analogy about his kingdom. Rather Jesus extended a gracious welcoming invitation to “Come and see.” It is the same invitation we hear in psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” To know Jesus is much more than just hearing his word. It is to experience Jesus. To know Jesus is to be in relationship with the Lord, the gentle, loving, comforting Spirit of life. To know Jesus is not merely to know about him, but to allow Jesus to know me.
Jesus continues to ask me, “What are you looking for?” What are your desires, your longings, what is it that brings you peace and joy? What is it that brings you comfort in times of sorrow? My answer, like that of the disciples, is what do I have to do to fulfill my desires to find inner peace and joy and personal comfort. Jesus answers me “Come and see.” I continually ask myself, what is it that stops me from spontaneously enthusiastically following Jesus as the disciples did. What are my fears? What are my addictions? What am I afraid of loosing?
The dialogue resounds throughout the ages. The good news is that
our compassionate, loving, gently God remains faithful to us, daily urging
us to “Come and see.” Today, when the Lord invites me to “come and
see” will I follow?
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