Come and See

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

He said to them, “Come and you will see.”

Jn 1:39

This Sunday’s scripture readings speak to us of invitation, response, and transformation.

We read in the Old Testament of Samuel, who is asleep in the Temple of the Lord. He hears a voice calling him and responds, “Here I am.” He at first thinks he is being called by Eli, his master. But it is not Eli. It is the voice of the Lord, to which Samuel replies, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”

We are told at the end of this passage that “The Lord was with him.”

In the gospel, John the Baptist points his disciples to Jesus, saying, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” They begin to follow Jesus who asks them, “What are you looking for?” They call him Rabbi, which means “teacher,” and ask him, “Where are you staying?”

Jesus replies, “Come, and you will see.”

These invitations to meet the Lord — to listen to Him, to follow Him, to stay with Him — are also invitations for us today to have our own encounters with God.

In a reflection on this Sunday’s readings, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, speaks of how these encounters occur in real places and through real people.

Where is Samuel when he hears the voice of God? He is in the Temple, established by God as the place where He would dwell among His people.

Where are the disciples when they encounter Christ? Cardinal Pizzaballa writes, “The place is … the place of Jesus’ baptism … the place where the Father himself sets out to reveal Jesus’ identity as the beloved Son in whom the Father is well pleased. But it is also the place where Jesus chooses to be in solidarity with man and his destiny to the very end…”

This relationship that Jesus chooses to have with us “begins through mediation,” the Cardinal writes, noting that “it is John who indicates to his disciples the presence of the Messiah, the Lamb of God (Jn 1:36). The encounter with the Lord always takes place through someone who goes before us, because faith is a gift, and because no one can believe alone. Faith is the entry point into a world inhabited by others, in which we learn to trust, to know the Lord together, and to share the space of a new familiarity.”

Finally, this encounter with God through Christ does not leave us as we are, but leads to transformation, “for there is a final passage in this Gospel,” the Cardinal observes, “and it is that of Simon. His name is Simon, son of John, but the Lord gives him a new name (Jn 1:42), which translates to opening him up to the possibility of being someone else, of having a wider existence, of achieving bigger things.”

Where are you being invited to go and meet the Lord? Who are the ones who will mediate this encounter for you? How will you respond to His invitation? And what transformation will this effect in your life?

Our God is the same God who called Samuel in the Temple. He is the same Christ who called his disciples on the banks of Jordan. He is present in the Church today, in the sacraments, in the scriptures, and in each baptized Christian.

If you want to have a life-changing encounter with God on campus, if you are willing to respond to His call to “come and see,” then come to Mass. Go to confession. Participate in Bible studies. Join a small group. Fellowship with other Christians. Spend time in Adoration in the chapel. Open yourself to God in prayer and say, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening,” and allow Him to change your heart.