“Come and see” (John 1:39)

Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

1 Samuel 3:3B-10, 19

Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was. The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, "Here I am." Samuel ran to Eli and said, "Here I am. You called me." "I did not call you, " Eli said. "Go back to sleep." So he went back to sleep. Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli. "Here I am, " he said. "You called me." But Eli answered, "I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep." At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD, because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet. The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to Eli, he said, "Here I am. You called me." Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth. So he said to Samuel, "Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening." When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the LORD came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, "Samuel, Samuel!" Samuel answered, "Speak, for your servant is listening." Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect.

1 Corinthians 6:13C-15A, 17-20

Brothers and sisters: The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body; God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him. Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.

John 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 Jesus 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 Christ —. 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.

After Jesus’ Baptism, John gave this testimony about Jesus, “I saw the Spirit coming down on him like a dove from heaven and resting on him … but God who sent me to baptize told me, ‘You will see the spirit coming down and resting on the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit’” (John 1:32-33). John continued his testimony, “[Jesus] is the Chosen One of God” (John 1:34).

A couple of days after Jesus’ Baptism, when John the Baptist saw Jesus walk by, he said “Behold, the Lamb of God” (John 1:36). Two of his disciples – one is identified as Andrew and the other probably John (Ref. Ignatius Study Bible p163) – heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus invites them to “Come and see” and their discipleship with Jesus begins. Then with Andrew’s testimony “We have found the Messiah”, Andrew’s brother Simon also came to follow Jesus who names him Peter (John 1:41-42). Andrew and John, who responded promptly to Christ’s personal invitation to come and see and decided to follow Him faithfully, eventually become His Apostles. Andrew is believed to be crucified on an X-shaped Cross in Patras, Greece while preaching the good news there; John becomes an Evangelist and Jesus’ beloved disciple (Ref. John 20:2). Jesus gives Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven, the first Pope of the Catholic Church, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what you unbind on earth shall be unbound in heaven” (Mt 16:19).

We have probably been offered opportunities to “come and see”, before making any decisions in life, be they big or small. It could simply be choosing a university, viewing an apartment or interviewing for a job; it could be a major life changing decision like discerning for religious life, considering marriage, or starting and changing career. When we receive such an invitation, do we respond promptly or sit on it? When we encounter Jesus in our less fortunate neighbours – the poor, the homeless, the marginalized and the persecuted in society – and He invites us to come and see, are we courageous enough to follow Him and see the truth? Are we compassionate enough to answer Jesus’s call and share our blessings generously? Are we doing what we can so that God’s righteousness, justice and truth can prevail in our family, workplace, community and parish? In a world of chaos and uncertainties, He may invite us to come and see His Most Sacred Heart, and ponder on what “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) means to each of us and how we should live to bear witness to Him. Andrew, John and Peter in this Sunday’s Gospel reading inspire us to follow their example and respond to God’s call eagerly, joyfully and with a faithful heart. Whatever we are called to do, the Holy Spirit will guide us and empower us to accomplish our mission; God is our solace and only reliance.

Very often, we find it hard or unable to listen to God’s call. We are not alone! The story of God calling Samuel in the First Reading is a fine example. It was after God calling “Samuel! Samuel!” three times before “Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy” (1 Samuel 3-10). Eli was the priest under whom Samuel served the Lord.

When God calls us, let us respond with this Sunday’s Responsorial Psalm, “Here I am Lord; I come to do your will” (Psalm 40).

Posted: January 17, 2021

Shiu Lan

Shiu Lan is your Catholic neighbour with a simple faith and likes praying the Rosary. With a B.Sc from the University of Hong Kong, she worked in Information Technology and Project Management before working with joy at home.

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