“What are you looking for?”

Today, we hear from the gospel of John the Evangelist (Jn 1:35-42).  In this reading, John the Baptist again identifies Jesus as the “Lamb of God” as he did the day before (v. 29).  This time, two of John’s disciples (Andrew, who is named, with the other traditionally being identified as the author of the gospel himself) leave John to follow Jesus.  One has to wonder what they were thinking.  As followers of John the Baptist, they were aware of his testimony about Jesus as the Son of God (vv. 18 and 34) and that John’s mission was to prepare for the Messiah (esp. v. 23).  But what of the appellation “Lamb of God”?  It seems unlikely they appreciated the full import of this title given to Jesus by his cousin, however well they understood the scriptures (particularly the Passover requirement of the slaughtered lamb in Exodus 12).  Yet they were drawn to Jesus, or maybe encouraged to follow Him by John the Baptist, or perhaps both.  Then they hear the first words out of Jesus’ mouth in this gospel: “What are you looking for?” They answer by saying: “Where are you staying?”  Maybe they did not know exactly what they were looking for, but they knew that following Jesus would be the sure way to find it.  Is this not a lesson for us today?  Jesus begins by asking us what we are looking for.  Should we not answer as Andrew and John did?  Do we not want to be where Jesus is now?  If so, it is not possible to stay away from Him in prayer, in action, and particularly in His Real Presence in the Eucharist (“I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matt 28:20)).  Do we not want to be with Jesus forever?  If so, we must know Him and follow Him in faith, love, and obedience so as to be with Him for eternity (“In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” (Jn 14:2)).

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