January 4, 2019 (readings)
- Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious
John 1: 35-42
John was 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 he 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.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Lamb of God come into the world to save us. Thank you for revealing yourself to us. I humbly offer you now my mind and heart to focus on your Divine Word, so I may better know and understand your will for me.
Petition: Jesus, help me to put you first in my life and strive to help others to know you.
1. Knowing When to Let Go: Here, we see St. John the Baptist in action and the fruits of his fidelity to God’s plan. As he discreetly redirects two of his best disciples to follow Christ, his humility is in full play. Not only does he accept the fact that he must take the second stage to Jesus; he actively works for this to happen. It can be very difficult for us to seek only God’s glory and the good of those around us. Our hearts easily attach themselves to people, to areas of responsibility and to the attention we may get because of what we do — whether it be in our profession, private lives, parish or in a volunteer religious organization. However, if we want to do God’s will, we have to know when it’s time for us to let go. Like John the Baptist, the only thing we should have our hearts set on is establishing Christ’s kingdom.
2. Facing the Consequences: Thanks to St. John the Baptist’s faithfulness to his mission, two men — Andrew and John — meet Jesus and recognize that he is the Messiah. John the Baptist never knew the final results of his actions, but he trusted in the Holy Spirit and did what he felt God wanted. The one phrase he spoke at that moment — “Behold the Lamb of God” — had repercussions for the history of the Church and the world. Without those words spoken at that moment, we might never have had the Gospel of St. John, his letters and the book of Revelation, or the evangelizing work of St. Andrew. Jesus might have called Andrew and John some other way, but they would have lost precious time. We ourselves do not know how much is hanging on our fidelity to God’s plan in our life. Before saying “no” to God, we should ask ourselves if we’re willing to risk the consequences for ourselves and others.
3. Sharing the Treasure: Andrew, in turn, went to share the news of meeting Jesus and recognizing him as the Messiah with his brother Simon. Simon might well have laughed at him or ignored him. Jesus was not considered a likely figure for Messiahship — he was a carpenter’s son from a little town that another future apostle, Nathaniel, referred to with scorn. However, Andrew knew that he’d found a treasure and felt the need to share his discovery with his family and friends. Thanks to his enthusiasm, Simon, the future St. Peter, met Jesus. The rest is history. We should ask ourselves: Have I discovered Jesus in the light of faith? Have I discovered the hope and joy that come from knowing him as my savior? If so, have I overcome any fear, timidity or human respect that might keep me from sharing this treasure with others?
Conversation with Christ: Thank you, my Lord, for helping me to see the way to serve you better. Thank you for the saints, who show us how to be your apostles in the world. Give me the wisdom to know your will in my life and the strength and trust to follow through with it!
Resolution: From now on, I will try to be more courageous in sharing my faith with others and in getting them involved so that they can have a life-changing personal encounter with Christ.
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