Sunday January 15

Gospel of John 1:35-42

Jesus looked hard at him

As John stood with two of his disciples, Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God.’ Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi,’ – which means Teacher – ‘where do you live?’ ‘Come and see’ he replied; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of that day. It was about the tenth hour.

One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Early next morning, Andrew met his brother and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ – which means the Christ – and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked hard at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas’ – meaning Rock.

In this Gospel I am struck by the disciples encounter with Jesus.

It seems, discipleship begins with us looking at Jesus and Jesus looking at us.

There is an encounter of the heart.

Jesus offers us friendship from the beginning. In this Gospel, I imagine them walking together, enjoying conversation and a meal.

Mary Ward had a wide circle of friends. They became wholeheartedly at one with Jesus’ mission.

Friendship with Jesus was at the heart of the matter for Mary.

In the footsteps of Mary Ward and companions, I wonder what happens if I imagine Jesus staring hard at me?

I might be drawn to explore this further.

As I enter this imaginative contemplation I keep in touch with my heart throughout.