Jan 152015

By Father Andrew Kelly

Sunday’s Gospel (John 1:35-42) contains Jesus’ first spoken words in John’s Gospel: “What are you looking for?” What is the believing community looking for? Until Jesus’ question is answered at the soul level, the community’s weekly gathering for Jesus’ word, body and blood becomes external, boring, empty routines meaning little.
That will change only when the community enters into a living, prayerful relationship with Jesus as described in Sunday’s Gospel. The community asks Jesus: “Where are you staying?” Jesus’ invitation: “Come and see.” The story continues: “The disciples came and saw where Jesus was staying, and the disciples remained with Jesus that day.”
To see Jesus means to believe into Jesus’ living person in relationship.To stay or remain with Jesus means Jesus’ person has penetrated the community’s soul to such an extent the community is changed forever. Jesus and the community are now one new person.
Essential to this relationship is the discipline of listening in stillness and silence. As the sacred listening gradually grabs hold of the community’s soul, Jesus’ word, body and blood begin to radiate from the community’s core. The community now knows forever the answer to its question to Jesus: “Where are you staying?”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)

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