Wednesday, January 4, 2017
The call of the first disciples
Dear Father, You who are the God Almighty and Merciful God, receive the prayer of your children, the Savior that you have sent a new light on the horizon of the world, rises again and shine on our entire lives. He is God ..
From the Gospel of John (1, 35-42)
The next day John was there again 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 he 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 Anointed). 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).
In the first chapter of his Gospel, John takes us through a sort time of travel, a week long, punctuated by the repetition, three times, the expression "the day after" (vv. 29, 35 and 43). Our track puts us in the second of these moments, the central one and then the most important one, characterized by physical and spiritual transition of the first disciples of John to Jesus' "day after" the meeting, the choice of the following.
Our scene is crossed and brought to life by a very intense exchange of looks: from John to Jesus (v. 35), from Jesus to the two disciples (v. 38) by the disciples of Jesus (vv. 38-39); and finally again Jesus speaks to us in his gazing, in the person of Peter (v. 42).
The evangelist uses verbs different, but all full of nuances, it does not deal with superficial looks, distracted, transient but rather of deep contacts, intense, that depart from the heart from the soul. Jesus, the Lord looks at his disciples and us, so that, in our turn, we should learn to look at him. The verb that closes the passage is beautiful; "to look" that means literally "to look inside".
Jesus is walking along the sea, along the shores of our lives and John, acts as a photographer, records it. He uses the verbs in the participle to tell us that today, Jesus still is passing by us, and our lives can be visited and crossed by him and our world can welcome the imprints of his footsteps.
The center of the passage is perhaps precisely in the movement of Jesus, He walks first, then turns and stops, his eyes, his heart, about the life of the two disciples. Jesus "turns", that changes, adapts, leaves his position before and assumes another. Here Jesus is revealed as God incarnate, God came among us, man. He turned from the bosom of the Father and turned toward us.
It is beautiful to see how the Lord draws us in his movements, in his own life; In fact, he invites the two disciples to "come and see." You can not sit still, when he met the Lord, and his presence puts us in motion, makes us get up from our old positions and makes us run. We try to collect all the verbs referring to the disciples in this passage: "followed him" (v. 37); "followed him" (v. 38); "they went ... they saw ... they stayed with him" (v. 39).
The first part of the passage closes with the beautiful experience of the first two disciples who remain with Jesus, they later came into his house and they stayed with Him 'the path of salvation, of true happiness, which is offered to us. only when we accept to remain, to stand still, firm, determined, in love, without turning to and fro, toward one or the other master of the moment, one or the other new love of life. Because when there is Jesus, the Lord, when you were invited by him, nothing is missing.
The scan time of this part of the Gospel, with its "day after" shows us that the Lord is not an abstract reality and distant, but he enters our days, our years, in our concrete existence. I'm willing to open to Him my time, to share with him my life? I am ready to deliver into his hands my present, my future, so that He can drive any of my "day after"?
The disciples make a wonderful spiritual journey, highlighted by the verbs "heard, followed, went, saw, and stayed." Do I want, too, starting this beautiful adventure with Jesus? Do I open my ears to hear, to listen deeply and so I can give my positive response to the love of the Father who wants to join me? Do I feel to be born in me the joy of starting a new journey, walking behind Jesus? And then, do I want my heart and eyes are wide open to begin to see what really happens in and around me and to recognize in any event the presence of the Lord?
Peter receives a new name from Jesus and his life is completely transformed. Do I feel like today to give to the Father my name, my life and my whole person, so that He may again give me a new birth as his son and daughter, calling me by a name that God in His infinite love he thought for us?
The LORD is my shepherd;
there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures you let me graze;
to safe waters you lead me;
You restore my strength.
You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name.
Even when I walk through a dark valley,
I fear no harm for you are at my side.