by Rev. Fr. Dr. Joy Pyngolil
Gospel Reading: John, 1: 43 - 51
43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, "Follow Me." 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote -- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
"46 And Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!" 48 Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." 49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"50 Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these."
51 And He said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."
Verse 43: ... and He found Philip and said to him, "Follow Me."
I want to focus my attention the last two words "FOLLOW ME" and pray His Spirit to give us insight.
So today's topic let me title as "HAVE YOU HEARD THE CALL?".
Christ's public ministry began with a call "Follow Me". The author of Hebrews, at the close of chapter 1 and the beginning of 2 reminds us not to ignore this call - a call for salvation. St. Peter reminds us that listening to that call will put you in trouble; yet "do not be afraid of their threats nor be troubled" (1Pet.3:14).
(1) Jesus is calling us,
(2) (Paul) from his experience states that listening to the call is a great experience and do not forsake it, and (3) be courageous. By doing so, Jesus says "hereafter you shall see heaven open and angels of God ascending and descending upon Son of Man".
Christ calls us to follow HIM which means follow his mission. Listening to his call has two dimensions- personal and communal. His mission was a mission of reconciliation. Reconciling the creation with the creator by giving them abundant life. As people of God it is our mission to spread that message- message of reconciliation and life. For individuals it is a call to make reconciliation with our fellow human beings; for families to lead a life in peace and accord, as a church to make reconciliation with fractions and work for unity, as nations to uplift the poor and needy and as humans to respect the environment and save it for the generations to come. A greedy, selfish, self righteous, person, family, church, nation or policy fails to recognize the call and see the great Salvation God promised.
Let us pause for a moment: Are we listening to the call, as individuals, family and as a church? If not let's do it now. Individual make peace with others, families stop fighting and church stop all litigation and work on church unity. Rich (gifted) people/nations do you share your resources with the less fortunate ones? Paul reminds us to set priorities and listen to this call to salvation and Peter exhorts us to withstand temptations, persuasions and even persecutions. By doing so you will see the angels of God descending upon humanity and humanity living in harmony. Let us hope for it and work on our personal lives to adhere to the CALL.
As Christians let us listen to that call - "follow me" to "see the heaven opened and angels descending.."
See Also:Come and See - Assembling the Team
by Rev. Fr. K. K. John
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