Daily Reflection
January 4th, 2008

Dick Hauser, S.J.

Theology Department
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"What are you looking for?" Jesus asks Simon Peter and Andrew.

Simon Peter and his brother Andrew were restless. They had become disciples of John the Baptist, hoping he could speak to their restlessness. They were baptized in the Jordan River by John as a sign of repentance. Yet John's baptism was not enough. They were looking for more.

Then Jesus comes into view. John immediately directs them to Jesus releasing them from himself, "Behold the Lamb of God." And they follow Jesus.

"Rabbi, where are you staying?" they ask Jesus. Jesus invites them to come and see. They come and remain with him. They had found what they were seeking.

"What are you looking for?" Jesus also asks us. Though Jesus comes to our planet as universal saviour of humankind, he also comes as personal saviour of each believer.

The beginning of a new year invites us to reflect upon what we are looking for from our relationship with Jesus at this moment in our lives.

Each season in life involves new life challenges and hence new needs for Jesus' help.

Early in our lives we seek Jesus' guidance for choosing careers and vocations; we may also need guidance for choosing spouses.

As our lives evolve we seek guidance and strength for dealing with spouses and raising children.

Then as careers develop we are in danger of being drawn in the secularity and materialism of our culture, and so we seek strength from Jesus to remain faithful disciples amid the successes or disappointments of our careers.

Finally as our senior years emerge we need Jesus to sustain us amid declining physical strength and mental alertness.

"What are you looking for?" The beginning of each new year is an opportunity to take a fresh look at this question. What are we looking for from our relationship with Jesus at this stage in our lives? Where do we want Jesus to enter our lives more fully in order to remain his faithful disciples in 2008?

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) is a woman who sought Jesus during the differing seasons of her life. She was a wife of a prosperous and socially prominent merchant and a mother of five children; after her husband's business failure and death she was an impoverished widow with scant financial resources -- her conversion from Episcopalism terminated her family inheritance. She then began a school in her home in order to support her children; this led to becoming the foundress of a religious congregation of teaching sisters who eventually became the American branch of the Daughters of Charity.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is the first native born citizen of the United States to be canonized; she is also the patroness of parochial schools.

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