2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)


2nd. SUNDAY IN ORDINARY T (B) John 1:1-35–42 Jan.14, 2018

We have found the Messiah: Jesus Christ, who brings us truth and grace.“

When parents bring a child to this world, they have great expectations. According to their own hopes, they say, “he will be a great football player,” or “she will be an artist,” “he or she will be a scientist,” or “this kid could be President,” or simply, “what would this child be?” When the son of Zachariah, Elizabeth´s husband, was born he said, “You, my child, shall be called prophet of the Most High, for you shall go before the Lord to prepare straight paths for him.” Zachariah was not wrong. John the Baptist had the mission and privilege to listen to the voice of God, at his baptism, that Jesus was his beloved Son, God´s chosen one, and pointed him out to his own disciples, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” When the Lord called Samuel, “At that time Samuel was not familiar with the Lord, because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet.” But then, instructed by Eli, Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

The Gospel tells us that John the Baptist was standing with two of his disciples, and upon seeing Jesus he exclaims, "Behold, the Lamb of God." When Jesus notices that John's disciples are following him, he says to them, "What are you looking for?" They reply, "Rabbi, where are you staying?" Jesus responds, "Come, and you will see." Andrew, one of the disciples, goes to find his brother Simon, tells him they have found the Messiah, and introduces his brother to Jesus. Jesus looks at him and says, "You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas (meaning Peter)."

In the invitation to receive Communion, the celebrant shows us the Host and says, "Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world..." These are the same words John said when he saw Jesus walked by and he was standing with two of his disciples, Andrew being one of them. When John called Jesus the Lamb of God, he was saying a lot, he was teaching us an early Christian theological lesson that identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God. Jesus is like a gentle lamb, obedient to the will of his Father, offering his life on the altar of the cross. The sacrifice of Christ is so perfect that it would not need repetition.

To understand why John's exclamation identifies Jesus with the Lamb we need to have some Old Testament background. This image comes from several prophets in the Old Testament. Isaiah pictures the Servant of God who is led to slaughter like a humble lamb. In the same way Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Before the Exodus, the blood of the lamb was sprinkled on the doorpost of the Israelite families to spare them from the angel of the death. Each year, a year-old lamb with no blemish was taken by the Jewish priests to the high altar, and with a knife opened its throat; the lamb´s blood flowed on the altar and the priest sprinkled with it on the people for the forgiveness of sins. Later John tells us that the death of Jesus takes place at the very moment when Passover lambs were offered in sacrifice.

When the two disciples ask Jesus where he is staying or dwelling the question is not simply about his home address. It is the same Greek verb (translated as "staying or dwelling") used by Jesus at the Last Supper when tells his disciples that he "dwells" in the Father and the Father "dwells" in him. When Jesus says "Come, and you will see," for John the Evangelist it has the implication of the "seeing" of faith (John 9). Only with that seeing can the disciples know where Jesus truly dwells, with-in the Father.

Getting to know the Lord is a matter of faith and listening in prayer. This is the case of young Samuel in his vocation narrative. “At that time Samuel was not familiar with the Lord, because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet” But when the Lord called him, “Samuel, Samuel! Samuel answered, Speak, for your servant is listening.“We know that it is God who calls, but humans should not only answer, but facilitate God’s call. In Samuel’s story, being the boy in the Lord’s house prepares him for his future task. In addition, his readiness, even when he is called in sleep, shows his willingness not only to remain in the Lord’s company but also to fulfill God’s will.

The conversation between Jesus and the two disciples is the heart of discipleship. The three key verbs are, come, see, and stay. For the two disciples to “stay” with Jesus, they must enter into a new relationship-communion of life with the Lord. This is more than a visit, they have to stay. Also Andrew was unable to keep the news of the Messiah to himself, "first found his brother Simon, and said to him, 'We have found the Messiah' (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus." (John 1:41-42). We members of the Church are all missionaries, and this mean, like the Apostle Andrew should have the courage and enthusiasm the share with others the good news of salvation. But first, like Samuel let us listen to the Lord and be open to answer, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

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