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2nd Sunday Ordinary Time

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solomon

Male
Joined : 2008-03-02
Age : 49
Location : San Isidro, Pilar Bohol, Philippines
Status : single
Hometown : Candijay,Bohol
Ordained : 1995-04-27

2nd Sunday Ordinary Time

Post by solomon on Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:00 am

18 January 2009
2nd Sunday Ordinary Time
(Note: In the Philippines, the special feast of the Sto. Niņo is being celebrated taking the Gospel according to Mark 10:13-16. Otherwise, today is the 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time, John 1:35-42)

THE FIRST DISCIPLES
John 1:35-39

(from Barclay's New Testament Commentary)

"On the next day John was again standing with two of his disciples. John looked at Jesus as he walked. `See!' he said, `The Lamb of God!' And the two disciples heard him speaking and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him. `What are you looking for?' he said to them. `Rabbi' (the word means Teacher), they said to him, `where are you staying?' He said to them: `Come and see!' They came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him throughout that day. And it was about four o'clock in the afternoon."

Never was a passage of scripture fuller of little revealing touches than this.

Once again we see John the Baptist pointing beyond himself. He must have known very well that to speak to his disciples about Jesus like that was to invite them to leave him and transfer their loyalty to this new and greater teacher; and yet he did it. There was no jealousy in John. He had come to attach men not to himself but to Christ. There is no harder task than to take the second place when once the first place was enjoyed. But as soon as Jesus emerged on the scene John never had any other thought than to send men to him.

So the two disciples of John followed Jesus. It may well be that they were too shy to approach him directly and followed respectfully some distance behind. Then Jesus did something entirely characteristic. He turned and spoke to them. That is to say, he met them half way. He made things easier for them. He opened the door that they might come in.

Here we have the symbol of the divine initiative. It is always God who takes the first step. When the human mind begins to seek and the human heart begins to long, God comes to meet us far more than half way. God does not leave a man to search and search until he comes to him; God goes out to meet the man. As Augustine said, we could not even have begun to seek for God unless he had already found us. When we go to God we do not go to one who hides himself and keeps us at a distance; we go to one who stands waiting for us, and who even takes the initiative by coming to meet us on the road.

Jesus began by asking these two men the most fundamental question in life. "What are you looking for?" he asked them. It was very relevant to ask that question in Palestine in the time of Jesus. Were they legalists, looking only for subtle and recondite conversations about the little details of the Law, like the scribes and Pharisees? Were they ambitious time-servers looking for position and power like the Sadducees? Were they nationalists looking for a political demagogue and a military commander who would smash the occupying power of Rome like the Zealots? Were they humble men of prayer looking for God and for his will, like the Quiet in the Land? Or were they simply puzzled, bewildered sinful men looking for light on the road of life and forgiveness from God?

It would be well if every now and again we were to ask ourselves: "What am I looking for? What's my aim and goal? What am I really trying to get out of life?"

Some are searching for security. They would like a position which is safe, money enough to meet the needs of life and to put some past for the time when work is done, a material security which will take away the essential worry about material things. This is not a wrong aim, but it is a low aim, and an inadequate thing to which to direct all life; for, in the last analysis, there is no safe security in the chances and the changes of this life.

Some are searching for what they would call a career, for power, prominence, prestige, for a place to fit the talents and the abilities they believe themselves to have, for an opportunity to do the work they believe themselves capable of doing. If this be directed by motives of personal ambition it can be a bad aim; if it be directed by motives of the service of our fellow men it can be a high aim. But it is not enough, for its horizon is limited by time and by the world.

Some are searching for some kind of peace, for something to enable them to live at peace with themselves, and at peace with God, and at peace with men. This is the search for God; this aim only Jesus Christ can meet and supply.

The answer of John's disciples was that they wished to know where Jesus stayed. They called him "Rabbi"; that is a Hebrew word which literally means "My great one." It was the title of respect given by students and seekers after knowledge to their teachers and to wise men. John, the evangelist, was writing for Greeks. He knew they would not recognize that Hebrew word, so he translated it for them by the Greek word "didaskalos," teacher. It was not mere curiosity which made these two ask this question. What they meant was that they did not wish to speak to Jesus only on the road, in the passing, as chance acquaintances might stop and exchange a few words. They wished to linger long with him and talk out their problems and their troubles. The man who would be Jesus' disciple can never be satisfied with a passing word. He wants to meet Jesus, not as an acquaintance in the passing, but as a friend in his own house.

Jesus' answer was: "Come and see!" The Jewish Rabbis had a way of using that phrase in their teaching. They would say: "Do you want to know the answer to this question? Do you want to know the solution to this problem? Come and see, and we will think about it together." When Jesus said: "Come and see!" he was inviting them, not only to come and talk, but to come and find the things that he alone could open out to them.

John who wrote the gospel finishes the paragraph--"It was about four o'clock in the afternoon." It may very well be that he finishes that way because he was one of the two himself. He could tell you the very hour of the day and no doubt the very stone of the road he was standing on when he met Jesus. At four o'clock on a spring afternoon in Galilee, life became a new thing for him.

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