Friday - Christmas Time
1) Opening prayer
Lord, fill our hearts with your light.
May we always acknowledge Christ as our Saviour
and be more faithful to the gospel,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2) Gospel Reading - John 1,35-42
The next day as John stood there again with two of his disciples, Jesus went past, and John looked towards him and said, 'Look, there is the lamb of God.' And the two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, 'What do you want?' They answered, 'Rabbi' -- which means Teacher-'where do you live?' He replied, 'Come and see'; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him that day. It was about the tenth hour.
One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother and say to him, 'We have found the Messiah' - which means the Christ - and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, 'You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas' - which means Rock.
• In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist again calls Jesus “Lamb of God”. And two of his disciples, encouraged by John himself, go to seek Jesus and ask: “Lord, where do you live?” Jesus answered: “Come and see!” Living together with Jesus, they themselves can verify and confirm if this is what they are looking for. The encounter confirms the search, and then the two will never forget the hour of the encounter. Almost seventy years later, John remembers “It was four o’clock in the afternoon!”
• When a person is loved very much, generally, she receives many names or titles which express affection. In John’s Gospel, Jesus receives many titles and names which express that which he signified for the first Christians. These names translate the desire of the first Christians to know better who Jesus is in order to be able to love him with greater coherence. The fourth Gospel is a very well done catechesis. The titles and names of Jesus which appear during the encounters and the conversations of persons with him, form part of this catechesis. They help the readers to discover how and where Jesus reveals himself in the encounters of daily life. Throughout its 21 chapters, through these names and titles, John the Evangelist reveals to us who Jesus is.
• Today also, in our communities we should be able to say: “Come and see!” To see and to experience so as to be able to witness. The Apostle John writes in his first Letter: “Life was made visible. We saw it and are giving our testimony!” (1 Jn 1, 2).
• The persons who are called profess their faith in Jesus through titles such as: Lamb of God (Jn 1, 36); Rabi (Jn 1, 38); Messiah or Christ (Jn 1, 41); “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and the prophets wrote” (Jn 1, 45); Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph (Jn 1, 45), Son of God (Jn 1, 49); King of Israel (Jn 1, 49); Son of Man (Jn 1, 51). There are eight titles in only fifteen verses! Christology of the first times does not begin with theoretical reflections, but with names and titles which express affection, commitment and love.
• Andrew discovers that Jesus is the Messiah. He was so pleased with this encounter that he spoke about his experience with his brother and gave witness: “We have found the Messiah!” And immediately he leads his brother to Jesus. To encounter, to experience, to share, to witness, to lead to Jesus”. It is in this way that the Good News is diffused in the world, even up until now, until today!. What happened to Andrew’s brother can also happen to us. In the encounter with Jesus, his name was changed from Simon to Cephas (Rock or Peter). The change of name means change of direction. The encounter with Jesus can produce profound changes in the life of people. If God wants!.
4) Personal questions
• How has Jesus called you in your life? Have you changed direction in some way?
• Do you remember the hour and the place of an important event in your life?
5) Concluding prayer
Shout for joy together,
at Yahweh's approach,
for he is coming to judge the earth with saving justice
and the nations with fairness. (Ps 98,8-9)