By Emily Cavins
Behold, the Lamb of God ~ John 1: 35-42
One of the joys of the New Year is the chance for a fresh start. Maybe you received a Christmas gift that has captured your attention. I received an air fryer, which has got me searching for recipes that ordinarily I would avoid. “Fried” sweet potatoes have been a hit sprinkled with hot sauce or cinnamon.
That wonderful feeling of new and fresh and bit exotic warms our hearts. A new beginning or new venture always holds that spark of anticipation. Capture that delightful feeling, and let’s apply it to today’s gospel reading. It is the first encounter with Jesus for two of the disciples. Along the Jordan River banks, many had gathered to hear the words of John the Baptist, preaching repentance and the coming of the Savior. If you are like me, you would have gone to listen to him as well, to find out what is this new message.
You would have seen John the Baptist point to Jesus and declare, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” Your heart would have leaped for joy, and you would have followed after Jesus just like Peter and Andrew did on that day that forever changed their lives. Can you imagine how thrilling the invitation to “come and see” from the lips of Jesus would have been? How fast would we have run after him along the dry roadway? How far would we have gone without an inkling of misgiving?
We’d all like to think that we would have run a marathon to keep up with him, but most likely, somewhere along the road, we stopped and got distracted. Our feet were sore, and it was too hot; everyone else was faster. In my heart, the desire is to follow Jesus everywhere, but I admit, I have stumbled down dead-end pathways and had to backtrack, feeling hopeless and alone. I still want to “come and see” what Jesus wants to show me, but it doesn’t seem as clear as the first day I started.
The Right Road
If we think about it, however, we can easily get back on the right road. In Mass, the priest points to us the way when he lifts up the host and chalice and declares, like John the Baptist, “Behold the Lamb of God!” We get to go and receive Jesus himself at that moment.
It’s a good thing that Catholics have reverence in the sanctuary, or it well could be we would all jump up at once and run up the aisle in our joy. Jesus wants us to continue with our “come and see” attitude every day and be filled with his Spirit of mercy that in Lamentations 3:22-23 says is new every morning. Grab a friend or sister, as did Andrew bring Peter and head on down the road together.
Dear Jesus: Revive the first love I felt for you when I first followed your gentle voice. Give me the courage to follow you wherever the path may lead me and may my trust in you and never waver. Amen
Call to Action
Sit down with coffee, tea, or wine and reflect on a moment when you felt the voice of Jesus calling you. Commit to continuing your journey with Him. Ask him what are your next steps and resolve to go where he is leading.