disciples of John the Baptist

From pastor’s desk on the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, year B

 

 

As we begin the Ordinary Time in the liturgy of the Church, we are invited to follow our Lord Jesus together with the apostles. In the gospel reading for this Sunday we hear how two of the disciples of John the Baptist, curious about this mysterious man called by John “the Lamb of God,” pursued Jesus. While they were following the Lord without proper knowledge of His divine origin, Jesus asked them, “What are you looking for?” The question sounds very simple, but it goes into the hearts of those men seeking God. Since Jesus does not only ask about their outward search, but also for what they were looking for in the depths of their hearts. However, the disciples for the time being stay on the surface of things and they ask, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” To that Jesus, in accordance with the tradition of great Jewish rabbis, does not give them straight answer. Rather, He invites them to discover His “dwelling” while coming after Him. Thus, He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”

            What does Jesus’s invitation mean for the disciples? It means the disciples must follow Jesus and spend time with Him. They need to be in His Divine presence in order to gain God’s wisdom. Of course, the disciples only represent all others, who search for God and are drawn to Christ by the power emanating from Him. In result, those who follow Jesus discover much more than they can imagine – they discover the Triune God benevolently acting in the world. In Jesus they also discover the Way to the Father.

Our Lord Jesus invites all of us too, to follow Him so that we may believe in Him. Unfortunately, many people in today’s world know Jesus only by name. They declare themselves Christians, but do very little to know the Christ. That applies even to many Sunday churchgoers. They posses some knowledge of Him or they “have heard about Him,” but they do not want to make a commitment to follow His Way. It is a common delusion that some “knowledge” about Jesus is enough. It cannot stay only in the intellectual level, such as in social studies or in history classes that also talk about Jesus. Let us remember that if we do not engage into real relationship with Jesus while walking along with Him, we will neither know Him in truth nor believe that He is the only Savior.

There are two basic ways to know and to follow Christ. First is prayer and the second the Sacred Scripture reading. Prayer is fundamental for our spiritual life, for it opens our mind and heart to the Transcendence of God. But prayer is not just repeating formulas. Rather it is a conversation heart to heart with the Lord. Prayer is also abiding in Jesus, like Mary, the sister of Lazarus, did who “chose the better part” while sitting at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:42). Another way to know Christ is Scripture reading or Bible study. It is something that Catholics are not good at. However, it is the entire Sacred Scripture that refers to Christ, so one need to seek Christ actively in holy reading. As Saint Jerome famously put it:

 

Christ will not say to me what he said to the Jews: You erred, not knowing the Scriptures and not knowing the power of God. For if, as Paul says, “Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor 1:24), and if the man who does not know Scripture does not know the power and wisdom of God, then ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.

Hence, let us be diligent in seeking Jesus in prayer and in the Sacred Scripture reading so that our faith may increase and our lives may change accordingly. Let us remember tat, ultimately, we all must walk in Christ’s footsteps. We must imitate Him in everything in order to grow in holiness and receive the gift of salvation.

 

I wish you all a blessed week. Fr. Janusz Mocarski, pastor