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RABBI, WHERE ARE YOU STAYING?

RABBI, WHERE ARE YOU STAYING?

(A biblical reflection on the SECOND ORDINARY SUNDAY [YEAR B], 14 January 2017)

Gospel Reading: John 1:35-42 

First Reading: 1Samuel 3:3-10,19; Psalms: Psalm 40:2,4,7-10; Second Reading: 1Corinthians 6:13-15,17-20

The Scripture Text

The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard Him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” And they said to Him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are You staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). (John 1:35-42 RSV) 

In today’s Gospel reading, two of John the Baptizer’s disciples address Jesus as “Rabbi”, which means “teacher”. In those days, a rabbi was the most educated person in a city or town and because he was usually the only one who could read or write fluently, the people paid him a great deal of respect.

There were two types of rabbis in Jesus’ day. The first type used the Sacred Scripture to teach Jewish boys how to read and write in the synagogue school. These boys were preparing for the day when they would become adults in their faith, obligated to following all of the Jewish laws.

The second type of rabbi, a master rabbi, taught other men how to be rabbis and provided his disciples with food and shelter while he instructed them. The disciples, in turn, worked for the master rabbi. Jesus was this type of rabbi.

Because both types of rabbis were knowledgeable about the Sacred Scripture and because that’s where the Jewish laws are, the townspeople consulted the rabbis whenever they had a question about how they should interpret a particular law. Sometimes, lively public debates took place when two or more rabbis offered different opinions. Since there are many examples of people coming to Jesus seeking His advice, we can conclude that Jesus also engaged in public debates with the other rabbis of His day.

The rabbi was not the Jewish version of a priest or minister. Rabbis did not (and still do not) lead the synagogue services, and they did not offer sacrifices in the Temple. Rather, teaching was their main function.

Religious education was very important to the Jewish people who lived in Jesus’ day. It was a lifelong pursuit and not something only children engage in. 

Source: Jerome J. Sabatowich, Cycling Through the Gospels – Gospel Commentaries for Cycles A, B, and C, pages 160-161.)

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, You ask me what do I seek. Pour Your grace into me now and show me my soul’s answer. Heal me where I need to be healed that I might follow You with my whole heart, soul, and strength and bring others to You. I also pray for catechists and other religious educators who teach in my parish. Amen. 

Jakarta, 11 January 2018 

A Christian Pilgrim 

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BEHOLD, THE LAMB OF GOD!

BEHOLD, THE LAMB OF GOD!

(A biblical refection on the SECOND ORDINARY SUNDAY, 18 January 2015)

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Gospel Reading: John 1:35-42 

First Reading: 1 Samuel 3:3-10,19; Psalms: Psalm 40:2,4,7-10; Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 6:13-15,17-20

The Scripture Text

The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard Him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” And they said to Him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are You staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). (John 1:35-42 RSV) 

DISCIPLESHIP - THEY FOLLOW JESUSAndrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, but he was a fisherman as well. Like most of us, he had many responsibilities, but he still set aside time to nurture his spiritual life. He took his life with God seriously and eagerly looked forward to the promised Messiah. That’s why he was attracted to John the Baptist. Though it cost him time and effort, Andrew embraced John’s teaching of repentance in preparation for a special visitation from God.

And now the object of his pursuit was within view as John declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36). With a fellow disciple, Andrew followed after Jesus. He wanted to spend time with Jesus so that he could confirm what John the Baptist had already declared.

Imagine Jesus conversing deep into the night with Andrew and his companion about John’s teaching. Andrew seems to have been convinced by Jesus’ words, by His manner, and by the power of His presence. He probably still had a lot to learn, but he had heard enough to be convinced that Jesus was indeed worth following.

Now, let’s imagine ourselves (you and I) talking to Jesus. We formulate some questions and write them in our journals and then imagine Jesus answering them. For example, picture Jesus telling us about all God’s promises from scripture; about deliverance from sin; or about the gift of the Holy Spirit. Let’s quiet our minds and listen to what He has to say. Everything Andrew experienced when he spent the day with Jesus is what we can experience when we “come and see” (John 1:39). God wants to open our hearts to His love so that we will be compelled like Andrew to tell our sisters and brothers about Jesus and bring them to Him.

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, You ask me why I seek You. Pour Your grace into me now and show me my soul’s answer. Heal me where I need to be healed that I might follow You with my whole heart, soul, and strength and bring others to You. Amen. 

Jakarta, 16 January 2015 

A Christian Pilgrim 

 

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