+ Come Holy Spirit, Father of the poor, enlighten us.
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John (Jn 1: 35-42):
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 Jesus 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.
What powerful words, which we know so well, Behold the Lamb of God. But in this context, these two disciples of John the Baptist are awaiting the Messiah with great attentiveness, watchfulness, and yearning, from his preparing the hearts of the people, they know all that he had preached. And at these simple words they leave everything, even the one they are following, to follow Jesus!
It is beautiful that this is the first Gospel we hear after the Christmas season. It almost seems like we are back in Advent with John the Baptist! But after having tasted the joy of Christmas and the impact of the incarnation of Jesus in our lives and hearts, is there not always found still a yearning in our hearts to see His face, even in the midst of the joy and awe of this gift of Christmas? It's almost like every season is Advent, we are always awaiting something, someone. Both at the end of our lives and in the moment by moment, day to day.
When Jesus is pointed out to us in our day to day situations of life, in times of consolation or struggle, do we go there with Him? What prevents us from doing so? Maybe we have been angry and someone points out Christ's presence in the situation, or maybe a series of events of sufferings occurs and in your prayer you come to see how near he is to you in it, or any way that you come to see the Good hand of God working in the difficult, or joyous moments of life. Let us be attentive, watchful, and yearning to see Jesus, in our daily life of prayer, entering into a relationship with our God who has come, who is hiddenly with us, and will come again. So that when we see Him, when He is pointed out to us, our hearts will be burning to follow Him. To leave everything, even our pride in the midst of anger, our self-pity in the midst of suffering, etc. etc. so as to simply "stay with Him" throughout the variedness of our everyday lives.
Jesus, we ask for the grace to empty our hearts in prayer of anything we are holding onto that prevents us from following you with our whole hearts. That when we hear the words, "Behold the Lamb of God" in Mass, You may be received into hearts totally totally surrendered to You. Amen.