January 4, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious

John 1:35-42

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 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.

Reflection (Sem. Alejandro Pestaño):

     We can see in today’s Gospel that those who experienced Jesus are called to point Him to others.  In the Gospel, once he saw Jesus walked by, John the Baptist pointed the former to the latter’s disciples.  We can recall that John the Baptist experienced the joy to be with Jesus when the Blessed Virgin Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth.  Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, attested to that reality when she said that “the infant in my womb leaped for joy.”  Andrew, one of the disciples of John, followed Jesus and even stayed where Jesus is staying.  After experiencing the same joy that John experienced in his encounter with Christ, Andrew brought Simon to Jesus as he said, “We have found the Messiah.”

     For all of us who have found and experienced Jesus in our lives, we are invited to point Him to others who have not encountered Christ yet.  Like Andrew who brought his brother to Jesus, we are compelled to bring people to Christ as well.  Our daily prayers and participation in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist would be futile one if we will not act on the challenges before us.  Our faith in God must not only stay in our hearts.  Rather, our faith in God must be shared to others.

     Pointing and bringing Jesus to others is not only the responsibility of priests and religious.  As baptized persons, we too also share in this responsibility.  It is commonly said that there are now scarcity of priests and religious.  As a matter of fact, it is true.  That is why we as lay people must help in this endeavor of the Church.  We need to reach out to as many people as we can.  This is our mission as members of the Church.  Nevertheless, we need not to go far because we can do our mission in our homes, in our neighborhood, in our workplace.  But we need first to have an encounter with the Lord.  Andrew encountered Jesus by staying with Him.  Today’s Gospel challenges us to encounter Jesus and to experience the unique joy that only Christ can give.  May our experiences of joy through the birth of Jesus in this Christmas be radiated to others as we, like John the Baptist, say “Behold the Lamb of God.”

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