Thursday, January 12, 2012

Learning to live

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Eclesalia Informativo

John 1:35-42

John the Evangelist narrates the humble beginnings of Jesus' small group of followers. His tale begins mysteriously. We are told that Jesus "was walking by." We don't know where He is coming from or where He is going to. He doesn't linger with John the Baptist. He goes beyond his religious world of the desert. Therefore, he tells his disciples to pay attention to Him: "This is the Lamb of God."

Jesus comes from God, not with power and glory, but as a defenseless and unarmed lamb. He will never impose Himself by force; He will not compel anyone to believe in Him. One day He will be sacrificed on a cross. Those who want to follow Him will have to accept Him freely.

The two disciples who have listened to John the Baptist begin to follow Jesus without saying a word. There's something in Him that attracts them although they still don't know who He is nor where He is taking them. Nonetheless, to follow Jesus it's not enough to listen to what others say about Him. A personal experience is needed.

So Jesus turns around and asks them a very important question: "What are you looking for?" These are Jesus' first words to those who follow Him. We can't walk in His footsteps any old way. What are we expecting from Him? Why do we follow Him? What are we looking for?

Those men don't know where the adventure of following Jesus can take them, but they sense that He can teach them something they don't yet know: "Rabbi, where do you live?" They don't look for great doctrines from Him. They want Him to show them where He lives, how He lives, and for what. They want Him to teach them to live. Jesus says to them: "Come and you will see."
In and out of the Church, there are many today who live lost in the labyrinth of life, without a path or direction. Some start to strongly feel the need to learn to live differently, more humanely, in a healthier and more worthy manner. Meeting Jesus can be great news for them.

It's difficult to approach this Jesus as described by the evangelists without feeling attracted to Him. Jesus opens a new horizon for our lives. He teaches us to live starting with a God who wants the best for us. Little by little, He frees us from the deception, fear, and selfishness that are blocking us.

Anyone who starts to walk behind Him begins to regain joy and sensitivity towards those who suffer. He begins to live more truthfully and generously, with more meaning and hope. When one meets Jesus, one has the feeling of finally beginning to live life starting from the roots, since one starts to live based on a Good God, one who is more humane, friendly and salvific than all our theories. Everything begins to be different.

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