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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Christmas Weekday: January 4th
1st Reading (1Jn 3:7-10): Children, let no one deceive you. The person who acts in righteousness is righteous, just as he is righteous. Whoever sins belongs to the Devil, because the Devil has sinned from the beginning. Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the Devil. No one who is begotten by God commits sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot sin because he is begotten by God. In this way, the children of God and the children of the Devil are made plain; no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God, nor anyone who does not love his brother.
Responsorial Psalm: 97
R/. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm.

Let the sea and what fills it resound, the world and those who dwell in it; let the rivers clap their hands, the mountains shout with them for joy before the Lord.

The Lord comes; he comes to rule the earth; he will rule the world with justice and the peoples with equity.
Versicle before the Gospel (Heb 1:1-2): Alleluia. In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets: in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Jn 1:35-42): John was standing 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).

“Rabbi, where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”

Fr. Josep Mª MASSANA i Mola OFM (Barcelona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel reminds us of the vocational circumstances of Jesus' first disciples. To get ready for the advent of the Messiah, John and his friend Andrew had listened to, and followed for a while, John the Baptist. One day, John the Baptist, points out to Jesus, by calling Him the Lamb of God. On hearing this, John and Andrew understand that He is the long-waited Messiah! And, by leaving the Baptist, they set out to follow Jesus.

Jesus hears them behind. He turns and sees them following. Jesus and those unassuming men exchange glances. They remain captivated. Jesus' gaze turns their hearts over and they feel the need to stay on with Him: “Where are you staying?” (Jn 1:38), they ask Him. “Come, and you will see.” (Jn 1:39), answers Jesus. He invites them to remain, to see, to meditate.

They go, and they contemplate Him while listening to Him. And they spend the evening and the night with Him. It is a time of closeness and confidences. A time of love sharing. They remain with Him until the following morning. When the Sun rises over the world.

Stirred up with the flame of that “sunrise which shines upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death...” (cf. Lk 1:78-79), they set forth to irradiate it. Exalted, they feel the urge to communicate what they have seen and lived to the first ones they may meet: “We have found the Messiah” (Jn 1:41). Many saints have also done it similarly. St. Frances, love wounded, went about streets and squares, hamlets and woods, shouting: “Love is not loved!”

In our Christian life, the essential part is to allow Jesus to gaze into us, to go and see where He stays, to stay with Him and to share, and to announce it afterwards. This is the way and procedure followed by the disciples and saints. It is our way.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “What a blessed day they spent, what a blessed night! Let us also build in our heart, and make a house into which He may come and teach us.” (Saint Augustine)

  • “Three vocations in a man: prepare, discern, diminish ourselves so that the Lord can grow. Christian doesn’t proclaim himself, he proclaims another to the Lord. A Christian must be a person who knows how to humble himself so the Lord may increase in the hearts and souls of others.” (Francis)

  • “The theme of Christ as Bridegroom of the Church was prepared for by the prophets and announced by John the Baptist. The Lord referred to himself as the ‘bridegroom’ (Mk 2:19). The Apostle speaks of the whole Church and of each of the faithful, members of his Body, as a bride ‘betrothed’ to Christ the Lord so as to become but one spirit with him (…).” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº 796)