The Look that Leads to Deeper Commitment
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.
Introductory Prayer: Lord you know my heart. You know all of my thoughts, desires and intentions, whether they are good or bad. You love me despite all of my failings and dark corners. Thank you for your patience and forgiveness. Thank you for the countless graces that you shower on me daily, though I do not realize it. Thank you for revealing your love to me so that I can stand tall and continue on in the hopes of embracing you forever in heaven. I now dedicate these precious moments to you so that I can know and love you more and be transformed into you.
Petition: Lord, grant me a lively faith that seeks your grace and presence in my daily routine.
1. Worth the Wait: Sometimes it seems that it takes forever for God to answer a prayer. When he does, though, the results exceed all expectation. Ever since Abraham’s time, the world was awaiting a savior. The Book of Genesis records that God tested Abraham, asking him to sacrifice his only son Isaac. Isaac, unaware of his father’s intention asked, “‘My father! … Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’ Abraham responded, ‘God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.’” John the Baptist announces the good news, “Behold, the Lamb of God” (John 1:29), as he points out Christ by the Jordan River. The prayers of fallen creation are answered as the Savior of the world – God’s lamb – takes the field in salvation history. Is my faith in God willing to endure the test of time? Does my faith wane when my prayers are not answered as fast as I would like?
2. What Are You Looking For? Whom Do You Seek? After the Fall, God promised a savior who would restore to man his communion with God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator” (No. 27). In today’s Gospel passage, Simon Peter and Andrew entrust themselves to Christ. The course of their lives undergoes a radical change for the better. Do I seek Christ every day? Do I entrust my whole life to him? Are there areas in my life that I haven’t turned over to Christ: my financial concerns, my time, my family?
3. The Courage to Leave Yourself Behind: Peter and Andrew experienced Christ more deeply and intensely when they left their previous ways behind. Too often we become inordinately attached to things, ways and lifestyles that do not fit our Catholic faith. Do we have the courage, like Peter and Andrew, to give up our past sins and sinful habits? Can we be generous enough to leave behind even some good things so that we might follow Christ in a relationship that requires a deeper commitment of time, resources or talent? What is holding me back? Do I lack faith and trust in Christ? Is my love up to the challenge? Christ invites us all to “Come and see” what new meaning our lives can have when we deepen our commitment to him.
Conversation with Christ: Oh Lord, teach me not to be afraid, but to have courage in taking on a real commitment of my time, resources and talent. I want to help you extend your Kingdom in the hearts of people. Strengthened by faith and emboldened by your love, I know I won’t be disappointed.
Resolution: I will set aside time each day this week to sit down and study my faith more, especially those areas which I find difficult to explain to others.