Homily for the second Sunday of the year - Year B - Jn. 1:35-42


by

Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 

" The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God!' The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, 'What do you seek?' And they said to him, 'Rabbi' (which means Teacher), 'where are you staying?' He said to them, 'Come and see.' They came and saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.


" One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, 'We have found the Messiah' (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, 'So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas' (which means Peter). "





Homily:


" The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God!' "


John the Baptist is still greatly imbued with the manifestation of the Holy Spirit at the Baptism of Jesus. The voice of the Father still resounds in his spirit. Ceaselessly he thinks of the Messiah of God, who came to earth to reveal the Love of the Father who wants, in his beloved Son, to save all men! And on the day after that memorable day when he was chosen to baptize the Lord Jesus, John the Baptist could not stop himself from crying out, in the Holy Spirit: "Behold, the Lamb of God!"


John points to the Messiah, the Savior, Christ Jesus: he indicates the Way to follow, he shows us where the Door to Heaven is, he cries out, to those who are willing to listen, that Love is here! Already, the Heart of Jesus is open; already, the Heart of God has opened up to allow us to see what mercy awaits all those who truly want to approach the Heart of Christ! For, when the heavens opened and the voice of the Father was heard, the Love of God already flowed out from the Heart of Jesus, announcing the blood and water of baptism that would pour forth on the Cross of Calvary (cf. Jn. 19:34).


"Behold, the Lamb of God!" "Ecce Agnus Dei!" This is the expression used by the priest during the Eucharistic celebration in order to present the host to the faithful, before communion. But this expression is found, above all, in the liturgical chant that the Church proclaims at the breaking of the bread: "Agnus Dei, qui tollis pecata mundi, miserere nobis." "Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us." Truly, in the expression "Lamb of God", all of the Love of God is revealed to us! Truly, it is the Bread of Love that is broken for us!


" The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. "


The expression "Lamb of God" possesses such power that it draws to Jesus all the men and women of good will. John had barely spoken it when those who were truly willing to listen to him received a particular grace: that of following Christ! "The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus." Is this not what all the faithful do during the Eucharistic celebration? The priest has barely presented the consecrated host to the faithful, when the latter rush after the Master and go to find him at his wedding feast!


" Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, 'What do you seek?' And they said to him, 'Rabbi' (which means Teacher), 'where are you staying?' He said to them, 'Come and see.' They came and saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. "


"What do you seek?" What do we seek? Are we, too, people of good will? If so, then we could reply, with the disciples of John: "Teacher, where are you staying?" And he would answer us, now: "I am in Heaven!" Is it not similar when we receive within us Jesus Eucharist? Does the Lord not enter the Heaven of our soul? For, then, Heaven is within us! And, like the disciples, we will remain with Jesus "that day"; for each day, we can receive communion; each day, the priest breaks "our daily bread" for us!


" One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, 'We have found the Messiah' (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, 'So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas' (which means Peter). "


Why did Simon change his name? Why did Jesus call Simon "Cephas" or "Peter"? Quite simply because Simon had heard the voice of the Spirit, who told him to go to Jesus, as his brother Andrew had done. Now, what is it to go to Jesus? It is to respond to the call of the grace of God, it is to become a child of God and an adoptive son of the Father: "No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." (Jn. 6:65) "All that the Father gives me will come to me." (Jn. 6:37)


He who has become a child of the Father has conquered Evil: he has gained victory over the Evil One! He who has become a child of the Father by going to Christ merits the reward due to the children of God: so he merits the reception of a new name! "To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it." (Rev. 2:17) This is why Simon receives the name of Cephas, or Peter: he receives a white pebble, a white stone, a new name, the name "rock"!


All of us, with Simon Peter, are living stones destined to build up the spiritual building of the Church. May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, who, through her faith, is like the mortar that unites all of these "stones", come to our aid, in order that today's communion might be an eternal communion that establishes us forever in the Love of the Father!





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