Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(1 Samuel 3:3-10,19; Psalm 40:2,4,7-10; 1 Corinthians 6:13-15,17-20; John 1:35-42)
Saying Yes to Jesus’ Invitation to Make Him Our Lord and Savior
“Behold, the Lamb of God.” (John 1:36)
Most of us became Catholics as infants, when our parents presented us to the church for baptism. That makes us “cradle Catholics,” a term that has positive and negative connotations. On the positive side, our hearts were opened to the gospel at a very early age. But on the negative side, being brought up in a Catholic environment, we may assume that we are doing just fine without questioning our faith or deciding for ourselves whether we really do believe in Jesus.
The truth is, we all need to choose for Jesus at some point in our lives. We all need to proclaim in our hearts: “I have found the Messiah” (John 1:41). This is what happened to Andrew and Peter in today’s Gospel, and this is what ought to happen to every one of us.
What motivated these two men and all the other disciples to follow Jesus so radically? Simply put, they came to realize who he was. They came to see him as Lord and Savior, Messiah and Redeemer, and that realization changed their lives forever.
Those of us who are cradle Catholics can use today’s Gospel as a catalyst to ask ourselves: “Who do I think Jesus is?”
Because they took up Jesus’ invitation to come and see, Andrew and Peter’s hearts were changed (John 1:39). And that change of heart initiated a process of change in their minds as well. They began to think and act differently. Jesus wants to have the same impact on our lives. He wants to change the way we think and act. This renewal of our minds may take a lifetime, as it did for these apostles. But just as it happened for them, so must it happen for us: Every “mind-change” process begins with a “heart change.” We have to meet Jesus.
As Catholics, it is not enough to be “born into” the church because of our parents’ wishes. Each of us has to be able to say on our own: “I have found the Messiah!”
“Lord, open my eyes. I want to come and see you.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion
- In the first reading, we hear these words, “At that time Samuel was not familiar with the Lord, because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet.” In what ways has the Lord revealed himself to you?
- Samuel is also advised to say to the Lord: “Speak. Lord, for your servant is listening.” To what extent do you consult the Lord in prayer before making an important decision? How expectant are you that the Lord will reveal himself to you or speak to you when you pray, receive the Eucharist, or read Scripture?
- The responsorial psalm calls us to humbly turn to the Lord with these words, “Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will.” What part does saying yes to the Lord’s will play in how you live your life? Is it your “delight”? How can you be more in tune with the Lord’s will for your life?
- In the second reading, we hear these words: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). What role does the Holy Spirit play in discerning God’s call for your life? What steps can you take to allow him to take a greater role?
- In the Gospel reading, Peter was helped by his brother Andrew in bringing him to Jesus and recognizing the call of the Lord for his life. In what ways has God used other Christians to help you in growing in your faith in the Lord and discerning God’s will in specific circumstance? Do you believe that Jesus wants you to experience his love in a deeper way, so that you too will be compelled like Andrew to tell your brothers and sisters and bring them to him? Why or why not?
- In the meditation, we hear these words: “The truth is, we all need to choose for Jesus at some point in our lives. We all need to proclaim in our hearts: ‘I have found the Messiah” (John 1:41).’ This is what happened to Andrew and Peter in today’s Gospel, and this is what ought to happen to every one of us.” How would you describe you own personal decision to “choose” Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
- Take some time now to pray that God would give you the grace to experience his presence in your life in a deeper way — and the grace to tell others about Jesus. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.