Homily for January 4th, 2017: John 1:35-42.
“What are you looking for?” Jesus asks the two disciples of John the Baptist who have just heard him say, pointing to Jesus: “Behold the Lamb of God.” The two respond with a typically Jewish counter question: “Where are you staying?” To which Jesus responds with an invitation: “Come and see.” They do so, and their lives are changed. They become Jesus’ friends, then disciples, and finally apostles: his messengers to others.
Jesus is asking us this question, right now: What are you looking for? Why have you come out in the dark and cold? What are you looking for in your life? Is it “the good life” advertised in glorious technicolor on our TV screens? Have you found the pursuit of that life satisfying, and fulfilling? Or is there still an emptiness inside that you cannot fill, and longings that remain unsatisfied, try as you may?
So what are you looking for? You may not know it, but at bottom you are looking for love. You want a love that will not let you go, that will not let you down. You yearn for a love that will not cheat or deceive or frustrate you; a love that will fulfill the deepest longings of your heart, your mind, your soul. That is what you are looking for. That is what I am looking for – and what every one of us is looking for.
Perhaps you have grown weary with looking and think the search is hopeless. You are wrong. There is someone who can satisfy your deepest longings. His name is Jesus Christ. Now, in this hour, he is challenging you with the same invitation he extended to Andrew and his friend: to come and stay with him. Accepting that invitation is the first step in becoming Jesus’ disciple – his follower and his friend.
That is wonderful – and beautiful. But it is only the beginning. Jesus Christ wants you to become his friend, his disciple, his follower, so that he can make you his apostle: his messenger to carry the all-consuming love which he offers you here to those to whom he sends you: his sisters and brothers – yes, and yours too.