Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection January 04, 2024


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R/. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia

V/. At many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.

R/. Alleluia

At that time: John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by 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 are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So 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 Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own 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, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

1. John the Baptist knew Jesus to be the Lamb of God who carries the whole burden of sin in humanity. Accordingly, he directs the attention of two of his disciples to Jesus. Here in him, we see a true leader and guide.

2. He could dispossess even his own followers. He does not keep his followers vehemently as his own possession but rightfully guides them to the greatest source of life. In the light of the first reading, he does not deceive them as the awaited Messiah. As one who practises righteousness, he leads them to the Righteous One.

3. Immediately, the two disciples leave him and follow Jesus. It is not an act of instability or defection in disloyalty, as found abundantly in today’s many followers. Rather, it shows their spirit of search for what is true and higher.

4. They were not such followers who blindly clung to John the Baptist. They would also not easily desert their loyalty with self-interested calculations. They just want to discover personally who is Jesus. They have the openness and eagerness to set themselves in search of him.

5. They stay with him and experience him. They discover something profound. They discover the Messiah in Jesus. Their search was meaningful and successful. They found what they were searching for. In fact, they find more than what they wanted to find.

6. They wanted to know where Jesus was staying. But they experience the person with whom they stayed. It is more than a discovery of a place or the whereabouts of a great man. This is a deeper transition and journey. Their experience goes beyond the place to the person.

7. Still, they do not stop there. Those who truly and personally experience Jesus cannot but share it with others. They share the same experience with others and bring them also to Jesus. Andrew brings his brother Peter also to the Lord.

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