Christ the Saviour with the Holy Eucharist,
Painting by Juan de Juanes (1523-1579),
Painted circa 1545
Oil on panel,
© Museo del Prado, Madrid

Christ the Saviour with the Holy Eucharist,
Painting by Juan de Juanes (1523-1579),
Painted circa 1545
Oil on panel,
© Museo del Prado, Madrid

Gospel of 17 January 2021

What do you want?

John 1:35-42

As John stood with two of his disciples, Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, 'Look, there is the lamb of God.' Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, 'What do you want?' They answered, 'Rabbi,' – which means Teacher – 'where do you live?' 'Come and see' he replied; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of that day. It was about the tenth hour.

One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Early next morning, Andrew met his brother and said to him, 'We have found the Messiah' – which means the Christ – and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked hard at him and said, 'You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas' – meaning Rock.

Reflection on the Painting

Our Gospel today continues with the theme of the readings this week of 'Come and see' and 'Follow me'. Christ is asking us to follow Him, but the question is also 'What are we looking for?' We are all seekers. We all look for something: for happiness, for peace, for love, for professional fulfilment, etc…. Jesus knew that when He was addressing the people in our reading. He knew they were all seeking something. 

Jesus is inviting us to find the answers in Him. He invites us not just to a one-time experience of meeting him. No, He is inviting us to participate in a constant cycle and interaction: we seek, he invites us, revelation follows; we seek some more, he invites us to an even deeper participation and even more will be revealed to us. This continuous cycle is what draws us deep into the mystery of God and the mystery of our Faith. 

As illustrated in our painting, the Eucharist and the communion in the Body and Blood of Christ are the ultimate participation in the fullness of communion with God. The Eucharist is the spiritual food nurturing this continuous cycle of seeking, invitation and revelation.

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