The cynical Apostle -Feast of St Bartholomew, Apostle – John 1: 45-51 (to be read from verse 35 for a better understanding)
Please find the Gospel reading in the audio clip above
Please find the Gospel reflection above
Jesus begins His ministry with borrowed disciples; they were not His, for they were first the disciples of John the Baptist. It is John the Baptist who hails Jesus as the Lamb of God, prompting the two initially unnamed disciples to follow Jesus. They must have been stalking Jesus long enough for Him to turn and ask them what they wanted. What were they looking for?
That’s the first take away from this Gospel; simply following Jesus makes little sense if we haven’t figured out what we want. What are we looking for? Jesus was most certainly looking for disciples, not followers. The answer we give to His question makes all the difference.
The answer of the two unnamed disciples was not some plea to be lodged for the night; they wanted a permanent home with Jesus. “Where do you live” was not a matter of asking for His address (which incidentally He had none). They wanted to be with Him, always. They wanted to be disciples, not followers. Which brings us to the second point; discipleship is not some ‘one night fleeting romance’, it calls for tough love.
The third take away from the Gospel is interesting. We often assume that a call, whatever state of life that call may be to, is followed by a process of discernment. Let’s not close ourselves to what happens in this Gospel . Much before the call, we find the disciples in a process of discernment, which includes a discussion between Jesus and the two unnamed disciples. Here there is a ‘discernment process’, after which Jesus calls the disciples, “come and see”. The discernment may also precede the call.
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