Mission Society of the Philippines

Homilies

2nd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME: BEHOLD JESUS, THE LAMB OF GOD

Jn 1: 35-42

 

OUR GOSPEL TODAY is an extract from St John’s gospel, and is taken from the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus. In this passage we have St John’s account of the calling of the first disciples. It differs markedly from the account given in the synoptic gospels, and has its own richness and depth. In the gospels of Mt, Mk and Lk, we hear of Jesus saying to the first disciples, “Follow me!”. In this account from the Gospel of John, it is the followers of John the Baptist who are now seeking out Jesus because of the testimony of John the Baptist. 

We shall reflect now on the important moments of the gospel:

Firstly, we hear of the testimony of John the Baptist. John, while seeing Jesus walking by, he told his two disciples, “Behold, the Lamb of God.”  The two disciples being referred to here were Andrew, the brother of Peter, and John, son of Zebedee. The word ‘behold’ means to see. But, as the gospel progresses, we would find that the invitation is more than “seeing” Jesus with the disciples’ eyes. It is more of discovering who Jesus is. It is more of believing in Jesus.

John the Baptist calls Jesus as the “Lamb of God”. It is so because Jesus bore the likeness of a lamb; He is harmless, innocent, meek and lowly, and totally submissive to the will of the Father. In all these things He was lamb-like. Truly a lamb very suitably portrays Jesus’ character as He lived upon this earth. In an even greater way, Jesus is the “Lamb of God” because He became the sacrifice for the sins of God’s people. Jesus’ title as Lamb of God is unique in the gospel of John.

Secondly, we have heard of the encounter between Jesus and the two disciples. Remember, that these two disciples were already disciples of John the Baptist, and they must have heard much about Jesus, because John the Baptist has testified to Jesus. With that as a background, the two disciples must have been attracted to Jesus. It is an attraction which leads to the desire to follow Jesus. Thus, it is interesting to note that in this passage in John, the two disciples have followed of Jesus. While following Him, the two disciples were asked by Jesus, “What are you looking for?

The question of Jesus, “What are you looking for?” is a relevant question for all of us. At a certain stage in life, some people may have already found an answer to that question, and therefore, they have had a stable, as well as, a meaningful life. But others are not that successful. We can find people who have already reached the prime of their life, and yet, it appears that they remain unstable in some aspects of their life. They are still on a process of finding what is it really that they want in life.

Thirdly, the two disciples answered Jesus, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” This answer (which is actually a question) of the two disciples appear to be surprising. Perhaps, Jesus would expect something of a good life in exchange of their following Him.  But no, they simply wanted to know where Jesus stays. And Jesus responded by inviting them, “Come, and you will see.”

It appears that the two disciples wanted to commune with Jesus. They have a desire to be with Jesus so that they can also grow in relationship with Him. And Jesus did not give an easy answer. He wanted the two disciples to explore for themselves where He stays. The gospel passage did not say something about the events following to that, that is, what had happened to their communion with Jesus. But we are certain that this communion marked the beginning of their calling as future disciples of Jesus.

Brothers and sisters, we have been called to be disciples of Jesus. The gospel shows us what radical discipleship is all about. The gospel does not tell us that Jesus was on a search for disciples, but rather, the prospective disciples have already followed Him. Discipleship is about relationship. In every human relationship, time and place are important elements for relational growth. And that is also true to our relationship with Jesus. We have to spend time with Him. And we spend that time at a certain place where we are comfortable with. We will not anymore ask the question, “Jesus, where do you stay?” or “Jesus, where can we find You?” We already know “where” to go and “when” to spend that time with Him. AMEN.


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