Up close and personal

by | Jan 13, 2015 | Formation, Reflections

Vincent EucharistSecond Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), January 18, 2015 – 1 Sam 3, 3b-10. 19; 1 Cor 6, 13c-15a. 17-20; Jn 1, 35-42

Whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him (1 Cor 6, 17)

Our Lord reveals himself to the clean of heart who show interest in him. He offers them, “Come, and you will see.” He welcomes them to his private space. He opens himself to them completely, making himself vulnerable.

Both the invitation and the interest of the invited make clear that knowing Jesus is not a do-it-yourself job. It is not a project that a self-taught individual can do by himself.

Those who want to know the Lamb of God will need someone to point him out to them first. Above all, they are going to need the Rabbi who will communicate to them the word of God and teach them to hear and do it—so that they may thus acquire intimacy with him, knowing him up close.

Christian discipleship supposes honest and bold dialogue (cf. Pope Francis). It is incompatible with solipsism that makes for “hostile inflexibility” and “destructive tendency to goodness” (do-goodism). We cannot be self-absorbed without closing ourselves to those who can help us. No wonder, then, that the word of the Lord was rare and there were not many visions toward the end of Eli’s judgeship, so locked up in their own interests were the priests even. And when divine word and visions are missing, the people stray and perish.

Enclosed in ourselves, we are condemned to our own weaknesses, stupidities, limitations, pettiness and unrighteousness. Failure and ruin await us when we are left to our evil inclinations and caprices. Only God, “the immutable light, very different from all light whatever” (St. Augustine) can free us from our dark prison, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Because Jesus calls, he breaks our deafness. He shines, that is why our blindness is dispelled. What is especially good about our Teacher is that he practices what he preaches. He evangelizes by words and works; he infects more than he teaches doctrines.

Finding the Messiah, then, is not so much a matter of doctrine as of communion, so that his Spirit may enliven us and that the sap itself of the vine may flow in the branches. It is about remembering the offering and the wounds through which we are healed, so that we may remember that “we live in Jesus Christ by the death of Jesus Christ and that we ought to die in Jesus Christ by the life of Jesus Christ and that our life ought to be hidden in Jesus Christ and full of Jesus Christ and that in order to die like Jesus Christ it is necessary to live like Jesus Christ” (St. Vincent de Paul; I:295).

Grant, Lord, that we hear your word and act on it.

Ross Reyes Dizon

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