January 14, 2024: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: John 1:35-42
John was in Bethany standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus who was walking by, and said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.
One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas “(which means Peter).
John the Baptist points to Jesus, always! It was his mission; he was destined to lead others to Jesus. John said he was to decrease in order that Jesus might increase. John is a fitting prototype for every Christian. We are each called to lead others to Jesus; our mission is evangelization. And how do we do that? St. Francis of Assisi said it well, “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words.”
Our lives should testify to the Gospel of Christ; by our example we proclaim the message of the Gospel. How we live is the best testimony to our faith in Jesus and is the way we point to him. I found this definition for “attractor” from the world of physics so fitting to describe our lives as Christians, “a state or behavior toward which a dynamic system tends to evolve.” Some have identified Jesus the Christ as the “Strange Attractor” toward Whom we are all being lured.
Franciscan S. Ilia Delio, a scientist and theologian, wrote in March of 2020, at the outbreak of COVID: “Only care for another humanizes us, which is why the death of the isolated self for the sake of greater life requires faith in the power of being loved, in the power of God. For where there is God there is love and where there is love there is no fear, because the one who lives in love, lives freely and celebrates life as belonging to another.” Read the full article by googling Ilia Delia, “Hope in the Time of Crisis.”
If you are not in the habit of doing a nightly Examination of Conscience, consider beginning the practice this year. Add this question to some of the standard questions in an Examen: Whom have I attracted to Jesus today by my example?