What Are You Looking For?
Malvern Minute

 

January 4, 2018 Thursday before Epiphany

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets: in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son. Alleluia, alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel accord to John (1:35-42)

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher),
“where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
“We have found the Messiah,” which is translated Christ.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
“You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas,” which is translated Peter.

Reflect: What are you looking for? This is a simple but profound question. It is primordial to human life. As we continue through the Christmas season and begin another year, maybe now is a good moment to do some soul searching. What are we looking for? Each one of us has to answer that question for ourselves. The answer, however, will determine how we spend our time and energy, and demonstrate the foundation that anchors our life choices. For Andrew and the other disciple, their response to this question was another question: “Where are you staying?” That question started a dialogue with Jesus, who simply said: “Come, and you will see.” The heart of the disciples was drawn to Jesus. For them “Where are you staying?” meant that they wanted to know more about Jesus; that they wanted to “hang out” with “the Lamb of God.” That encounter must have touched them deeply because Andrew went out immediately to find his brother, Simon, to tell him: “We have found the Messiah.” The process of evangelization began: one brother telling another about the Good News – “I have met the Savior, and I can’t keep it to myself. Come and know him, too!” At the end of the day (maybe after we’ve exhausted all of the dead end answers), what most of us are looking for is peace, joy, happiness, the key to life – not the fleeting kind, but something that will last, something eternal. May the grace of this sacred season help us to see and recognize Jesus as the answer!

Questions: What does the way I spend my time and focus my energy say about what is important in my life? Is seeking Jesus and inviting him to enter all aspects of my life a priority for me? At the end of my life, what do I want my life’s work, accomplishments and efforts to say about me? Do I desire to invite anyone to come and see the Lord?

Pray: Loving God, you are my Hope, my Peace, my Strength and my Salvation. Give me a heart that desires to know you more and to share your love and mercy with all those I meet.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.                                                                      

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton: Pray for us!

The mother of five children, Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton became a widow at age twenty-nine at the death of her husband, William. Much to the disappointment of her family, she converted to Catholicism after encountering the generous charity of the Church while on holiday in Italy. She attempted to start a school in New York but was rejected because of her faith. After responding to start a school in Baltimore, she founded the first congregation for women religious in the USA, the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joseph, to educate the poor and orphans. Elizabeth died in Emmitsburg, Maryland in 1821. In 1975, she was the first native born American to be canonized. Elizabeth is considered the patron of Catholic education in America.


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