Fr Thomas’ Message for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Come and See

The defiance of Donald Trump has resulted in an impeachment, a second one for a president for the first time in the history of USA. It is his unwillingness to put the good of the State before his self-centred interests that caused this to happen. Democracy and trust in a government are essential for the polity of the nation to be lively and healthy. Only leaders who are totally committed to serve their nation selflessly, not self-serving individuals, can make a nation great.

Let me move on from self-centeredness to self-sacrifice. There are parents and benefactors who want to offer their young people opportunities for a bright future. For the parents in countries with inefficient and corrupt political systems, it means parting with their children for long period of time, as the young aspirants pursue careers and studies in foreign countries. In addition to the pain of parting, many of these parents and benefactors also make sacrifices to finance their children pursuing brighter future in foreign lands. These parents know that their self-sacrifice is the key to a fuller life for their children.

In the Gospel of John there is a beautiful scene presented. “The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”” (John 1:35-36). John the Baptist had a large following which made him prominent and famous. But John, not being interested in self-glorification, pointed Jesus to his disciples so that they may have fullness of life with the Lord. John’s approach was very different to that of the self-centred people who manipulate everything to their own personal glory.

Jesus on his part quickly did a very simple interview to determine whether the two nominated people were fit to be his disciples. He asked them, “What are you looking for?” Their answer to this question was the key to their admission into the company of Jesus. The seekers of Jesus’ fellowship said that they want to have a life experience with Jesus; They said, “Rabbi, where are you staying?”. This intense desire was the best of qualification to be a disciple of Christ. It should make us ask ourselves ‘how intense is our desire to experience life with the Lord’.

After inquiring about what they were seeking, the Lord invited them to a life with him, saying, “Come and see”. It was an invitation to know Jesus as the Lamb of God that was to be sacrificed for the sin of the humanity. The Israelites who ate the pascal lamb in Egypt, in the land of captivity, did so for the strength to pass over the sea and the desert to a promised land where they could settle down with freedom and dignity. Jesus the pascal lamb offers much more than what the original paschal lambs did. Jesus the pascal lamb, shared at the Eucharistic table, provides strength to pass from the fallen-ness of human nature to a life of salvation. Jesus the lamb nourishes his disciples to reach fullness of life, in a way nothing else can.

John the Baptist was humble enough not to consider his own glory, but to direct his disciples to the true saviour. In Jesus we see greater humility; in him God has humbled himself to be with his faithful and to be spiritual nourishment in the fellowship of the disciples.