The Epiphany was the manifestation of the baby Jesus to the nations represented by the magi through the star as the Saviour of the world. This Sunday is the manifestation of the adult Jesus to his first disciples through John the Baptist as the “Lamb of God.”
As we go back to the Ordinary Time in the calendar of the Church, we are reminded by our gospel today of the ontological question in life which Jesus asked “What do you want?” The response of the first two disciples was also a question: “Teacher, where do you live?” The classic answer of Jesus was “Come and see.”
What do we really want in life? A happy family, security in the future, good health, a wonderful career, etc.? These are all essentials to live a better and fuller life which can only be achieved through our personal relationship with God. To “come and see” is to respond to the invitation of Jesus to follow Him and be with Him, to know Him better and to love Him more. The disciples followed Jesus and stayed with him that night. Our relationship with God entails “following” and “staying” with Jesus. Just as in any human relationships, if we want to grow our relationship with God, we have to invest our time, effort and our very selves. During this Ordinary Time of the Church calendar, may we embrace and follow Jesus in the “scandal of the ordinary”.
Andrew, after staying with Jesus, looked for his brother Simon and shared with him his experience. Our relationship with God does not end in ourselves; as it grows it overflows and seeks out to be channeled to others. As we respond to the invitation of God to “come and see”, we cannot afford to just contain the joy unto ourselves that is why we share our faith experience to others. It was Andrew who brought Peter to Jesus; he also brought the boy with the loaves (Jn. 6:8) and some Greeks to Jesus (Jn. 12:22). Andrew’s role was an intermediary, that is to bring people to Jesus; how many have we brought to God? After bringing his brother Simon to Jesus who named him as the Rock, being the first pope of the Church, Andrew went into the background. There was no sibling rivalry, no feeling of animosity nor jealousy. Like Andrew, we should be happy to let others shine and be the best of themselves even if this means for us to stay at the backstage or away from the limelight.
Jesus’ calling of the first disciples reflect our own personal calling. Because He knows us, He calls us by our personal name and when He looks into our eyes He knows who we are and what we can become which is far better than we can ever imagine. We just have to “stay” with Him always and let Him surprise us beyond our imagining…