“What Are You Looking For?”

Weekly Missionary Reflection
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 17 January 2021

1Sam. 3:3b-10,19; Ps. 40:2,4ab,7-8a,8b-9,10; 1Cor. 6:13c-15a,17-20; John 1:35-42

“Chain-testimony” could be an appropriate title for today’s gospel. Let’s take a look: John testifies about Jesus. His testimony brings his two disciples to Jesus. They change their role model: from teacher to Messiah. Then Andrew’s testimony brings Simon his brother to Jesus. Finally, Philip’s testimony brings Nathanael to Jesus. The pattern of testimony is the same, only the method is different. This story helps us to reflect and be grateful for the stages of our faith journey as well. How did we started our faith in Jesus?

Of course you and I start come to believe in Jesus Christ because of listening others’ proclamation. God calls and greets us through the proclamation and testimony of our predecessors in faith, such as: parents, teachers, friends, relatives, etc. That is the initial stage of our faith. It is a basic step that is expected to grow continually. Let’s notice how John’s two disciples are growing in faith: they listen and then go to follow Jesus (v. 37). Hearing about Christ is not enough. One must come to a concrete action to follow Him.

If we have started to follow Him, you and I must be ready for the next step to answer Jesus’ question: “What are you looking for?” This is Jesus’ first sentence in John’s gospel, the question that He will keep on asking us who have been following Him. Next, the step of the disciples Faith has the pattern of: come – see – stay with Jesus (v. 39). We are challenged to come to the experience of “living with” Jesus: let Him greet, look at and “question” us. This experience of faith is unique and personal, not en masse. Without the experience of “being personally and deeply greeted by Jesus”, our faith is still on the surface. Without this experience of faith, we stay still at the stage of ‘religious person’, without truly becoming ‘believers’. Our discipleship has to be individual and personal.

Today’s Bible also shows that becoming a disciple of God is an evolving and non-uniform process. Some people spontaneously follow Jesus (like the two disciples of John). Some are doubtful and need to be convinced with a “miracle” to believe (like Nathanael). Some let themselves be guided by others without much questioning, but are directly involved and given a role (like Peter). These kinds of faith-experiences can also be experienced by you and me in this life. Those experiences are not necessary to be always smooth and clearly formulated or expressed in words and sayings. God’s greeting and call are always distinctive and personal. We have to be grateful for all we have.

Of course being a disciple of Jesus is not only personal. Discipleship also has a social dimension and ecclesiastical character. Becoming the disciple of Christ is not only for the sake of self-perfection and personal salvation. When it comes to our turn, we have to share the faith experience of becoming the disciple of Jesus, in order to grow and develop the faith of others. That is the core message of today’s gospel: Faith must be completed with testimony. Believing in Jesus also means guiding and bringing others to Jesus, through words and deeds, through proclaims and living examples.

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
Fraternity among the human beings: May the Lord grant us with strong fraternity for us to live in harmony with our brothers from different religions by being open and praying for each other. We pray …

For Indonesian Churches intention:
Community solidarity: As a nation, may we be able to continue and increasingly develop solidarity, escpecially for the poor and those who suffer from Covid-19 outbreak. We pray …

Special Intention for The Year of St. Joseph:
Let us entrust this whole year into Your love, as seen in the offering of St. Joseph who accompanies Mother Mary in caring for The Son through sorrow and joy in Nazareth. We pray …

Amen

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