“Again the next day, John was standing with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this and followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and noticed them following Him, He asked them, “What are you looking for?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are You staying?” “Come and you’ll see,” He replied. So they went and saw where He was staying, and they stayed with Him that day. It was about 10 in the morning.” - John 1:36-39
We are all on this journey called life. Along this road we met different kind of people, build relationships, some lasts others don’t. We also experienced adventures both good and bad. Along the way we also met people that in one way or another affects us in a good way and changes our directions totally. Have we met those kinds of people?
The two disciples that the gospel talks about had that encounter with a person who eventually changed their lives forever. They saw Jesus and followed Him, and Jesus upon noticing them, started the conversation by asking, “What are you looking for?” They responded by asking where He is staying and Jesus invited them, “Come and you’ll see.” They responded positively and stayed with Him. They stayed because they experienced Jesus. Who would not stay if you experience something good and beautiful? Peter was like that too, when he encountered Jesus transfigured it was heaven for him so much that he wanted to remain there on the top of that mountain. If we experience something good and beautiful with someone, we will most likely wanted to be always in company with that person.
What have we encountered so far in our daily life? Did we encounter Jesus in others and in difficult situations?
Another thing about this gospel is that it actually tells us that Jesus always starts the conversation, He initiates. Even in loving, He always initiates, He loves us first! Then we respond, because we cannot help but respond to love. It cannot be that we cannot respond to something good and beautiful. It just doesn’t make sense. However, I don’t know why, confronted with decisions, we still choose the bad when good is right before us. We choose drugs when we know its doesn’t do good, we hurt others because we choose to satisfy our own feelings and emotions.
What is our response to love? If we feel so loved and cared for, what is our response to it?
Jesus said, “Come and you’ll see.” He invites. “RSVP” répondez s'il vous plait, French for a request for response to an invitation. Jesus invites us. What is our response?
When we are invited three things are important:
1. It requires a response. If we are invited response is needed, whether it is an affirmative one or not, so that the host will know what to prepare. If a close friend of ours invites us to a party, most likely we will respond to it positively simply because we know the person and we have relationship with that person. Same with Jesus, if we know Jesus the more we will respond to His invitation positively because we develop a personal relationship with Him.
2. It requires participation. When we go to a banquet, we participate. It cannot be that we go there and just seat. It defeats the purpose. We are not maximizing our time. We go there, we eat and start conversation. Food is not just the reason but the conversation. That’s the beauty of banquet actually; we just don’t eat but actually build new relationships.
3. It requires appreciation. In a banquet we need to have the capacity to appreciate what is offered before us or else we will be like an ungracious guest. Sometimes in life we find it hard to accept that we are just blessed! How many times someone wants to help us carry a bag and then we just say, “It’s okay, I can do this.” Or say someone offered a ride, and we will say, ‘It’s okay, the bus will be here soon anyway.” Why can’t we just allow that person to be a blessing to us? Why can’t we just accept blessing? We are good givers but somehow sometimes not too good receivers.
And so we respond to the invitation of the Lord because we cannot but respond to someone who is good and beautiful. So while we continue on the road of life, we need to recognize Jesus in the journey. Like the disciples who recognized something in Jesus, they followed Him and Jesus noticing them asks, “What are you looking for?” They were in fact looking for something they were not able to articulate up until then. They had this weird stirring of their hearts that says, “There is something more than what life is showing us now.” When Jesus invited them to come and see, they responded positively and eventually stayed. They found at last the one they were looking for.
Jesus is asking us, “What are you looking for? What are you looking for in life?”