Living Flame

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ARTICLE: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year: B

January 9, 2018

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year: B

1 Sam 3.3-10, 19; Ps 39(40); 1Cor 6.13-15, 17-20; Jn 1.35-42

I was travelling back from Bishop Bosco Penha’s office (2009). I got down from a taxi at Check Naka (Dahisar). I boarded another taxi to Mira Road. I travelled less than 100 yards, I could see a hand wave from the window of a car. I thought taxi driver must have done a mistake. Well, within minutes the car stopped right in front of our taxi. I was afraid. A gentleman came down from the car and wished me “good evening father”. I was surprised. He said, ‘father, come with me, I will take you to Mira Road’. He paid the taxi driver. When I was in the car the gentle man introduced himself to me and said, ‘father now I have kidnapped you’; I said ‘what do you want from me?’; ‘nothing father’, ‘I want my house to be blessed’. Okay I said. He drew the car towards his house, I went in. I found a big house, clean, beautiful. He went into the kitchen and prepared a tea for me and a few snacks. After a while he told me, ‘father I am sorry I took your precious time. Please bless my house’. I blessed the house and I told him that the tea was good. He told me that he is able to cook good food. I enquired about his family, he said that his wife is a manager in a bank, and he himself is the head of a company and his two children in Panchagini in a private school and they would go to meet them every weekend. He told me that he cooks, sometimes his wife cooks, he does all kinds of house work and there is plenty of good will and love in the family. I looked into his eyes full of love and understanding. I was surprised to know that a man with such status, prestige and wealth, lives a love-filled life. I was happy for the man and his family.

He was Amazed

Ravi had been blind all his life. He had never seen the sun, or the moon, or the stars. He did not know that the sky was blue, as that the grass was green. He did not know what a tree looked like, and could not even begin to imagine what shape and colours a bird might be.

His family and friends would say to him “The sun is shining brightly today,” or “There are thousands of stars in the sky tonight.” Ravi could not see them. He would become angry, he often said “There is no sun. There are no stars.” People felt sad because Ravi was so angry. They told him that even though he could not see them, the sun and stars were still there.

Sometimes people would talk to Ravi about the beautiful colours of nature, but he did not listen. One day his sisters were talking. They were trying to decide what colour saris they should wear for a wedding. One said she would wear red, the other preferred yellow.

“What does it matter,” shouted Ravi angrily, “There is no such thing as colour.” Everything is dark. The colours are only in your mind.”

Slowly people stopped talking to Ravi about the things they could see. They knew it would only make him cross. Then one day, when Ravi was twenty, his family and friends heard of a man who might be able to help Ravi. He was called The Buddha, and people who had met him said he could make people walked who had never walked before. And he could make blind people see.

His family and friends took Ravi to the Buddha. Ravi was not quite sure what was going to happen, but he was not afraid. The Buddha gently soothed Ravi’s eyes with four different lotions and suddenly, he was able to see. He knew that the sun and the stars shone in the sky. He saw how beautiful the colours of nature were. He marvelled at the trees and birds around him and he saw his sisters in their richly coloured saris. He was amazed.

Come and See

Jesus said to his followers, ‘come and see’ meaning, you need to open your eyes and see what you really want when you are with Jesus. Today we need to look closely Jesus who is calling us for an experience.

The Lamb of God

Who is Jesus for you? John calls Jesus the Lamb of God and thus signifies Jesus' mission as the One who redeems us from our sins. The blood of the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12) delivered the Israelites in Egypt from death. The blood of Jesus, the true Passover Lamb (1 Cor 5.7), delivers us from everlasting death and destruction. It is significant that John was the son of a priest, Zachariah, who participated in the daily sacrifice of a lamb in the temple for the sins of the people (Exodus 29). In Jesus he saw the true and only sacrifice which can deliver us from sin. How did John know the true identity of Jesus, as the Messiah? The Holy Spirit revealed to John Jesus' true nature, such that John bore witness that this is the Son of God. How can we be certain that Jesus is truly the Christ, the Son of the God? The Holy Spirit makes Christ known to us through the gift of faith. God gives us freely of his Spirit that we may comprehend the great mystery and plan of God to unite all things in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

What are You Looking For

John in his characteristic humility was eager to point beyond himself to the Christ. He did not hesitate to direct his disciples to the Lord Jesus. When two of John’s disciples began to seek Jesus out, Jesus took the initiative to invite them into his company. He did not wait for them to get his attention. Instead he met them halfway. He asked them one of the most fundamental questions of life: “What are you looking for?” What were they looking for in Jesus and what were they aiming to get out of life? Jesus asks each of us the same question: “What’s the goal of your life? What are you aiming for and trying to get out of life?”

Invitation for Fellowship

Jesus invites each of us to "come and see" for ourselves that his word is true and everlasting. "Come and see" is God's invitation for fellowship and communion with the One who made us in love for love. Augustine of Hippo tells us something very important about God and how he relates to us: “If you hadn’t been called by God, what could you have done to turn back? Didn’t the very One who called you when you were opposed to Him make it possible for you to turn back?” It is God who initiates and who draws us to himself. Without his grace, mercy, and help we could not find him.

Discover and Share

When we discover something very important and valuable it's natural to want to share it with those closest to us. Andrew immediately went to his brother Simon and told him the good news of his discovery of Jesus. And it didn't take much to get Simon to "come and see" who this Jesus was. Jesus reached out to Simon in the same way he did to Andrew earlier. He not only addressed Simon by his personal name, but he gave him a new name which signified the call God had for him. "Cephas" or "Peter" literally means "rock". To call someone a "rock" was one of the greatest compliments. The ancient rabbis had a saying that when God saw Abraham, he exclaimed: "I have discovered a rock to found the world upon". Through Abraham God established a nation for himself. Through faith Peter grasped who Jesus truly was – the Anointed One (Messiah and Christ) and the only begotten Son of God. The New Testament describes the church as a spiritual house or temple with each member joined together as living stones (see 1 Peter 2:5). Faith in Jesus Christ makes us into rocks or spiritual stones. The Holy Spirit gives us the gift of faith to know Jesus personally, power to live the gospel faithfully, and courage to witness to others the joy and truth of the gospel. The Lord Jesus is ever ready to draw us near to himself. Do you seek to grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ?

Practical Conclusion

The grace of being with Jesus opens our eyes. We will see what we have never seen. We will be open to a new world of Jesus. There will be plenty of good will, forgiveness, love, presence, kindness and everyone will be happier. That is what happens when we meet Jesus. We need to heed his call. Change will happen.

Fr. Rudolf V. D’Souza OCD

Vancouver - Canada