“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.” (John 1:38-39)
You woke up. Got dressed. Got your children dressed. Piled into the car. Drove to church. Walked into church…and boom! “What are you looking for?” The Man that lives here, dwells here, feeds you here, confronts you with this question: “What are you looking for?” What do you want to happen? What is it that you want from this experience, this relationship, this visit to church?
We may come to church for different reasons, but the main reason should be to have a genuine encounter with Jesus Christ. But are we actively looking for him like John’s disciples in the gospel or just going through the motions and hearing other voices as Samuel initially did in the first reading? Ah, the voices! Last week when we celebrated the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, I talked about our call to holiness. God calls each of us to be holy. He calls us by name. But, like Samuel, do we recognize the Lord’s voice? So many voices calling out to us, luring us in different directions especially towards the immorality that St. Paul refers to in the second reading, but we have to clear our head of those voices. We have to recognize the voice of the Lord through the roar of crowds and all the different messages that music, movies, television, and social media throw at us. We have to be still and not be afraid of silence for that is where the Lord’s voice will be heard.
The voices of the world grow loud and the tempt us to go against our Lord and our Church, and when we don’t, those voices spew hatred at us as Jesus himself predicted: “If the world hates you realize that it hated me first (John15:18).” That is why the young people that I will accompany to Washington, D.C. this week for the March for Life will be screamed at, insulted, mocked, and laughed at. But they are called to drown out all those voices and to listen to the voice of the One who is Truth who asks us this day: “What are you looking for?” We go to our nation’s capital because we have been witnesses to the Truth and because we have to stand up and be the voices of those who have no voice. These young people have accepted Christ’s invitation to “Come and see,” and now they go out to join an army of young people that define themselves as the Pro-Life Generation to stand up for what they believe in. They have heard the Lord calling them to be courageous and they have responded as Samuel did, “Here I am Lord!”
The question that Christ asks us today is supposed to bring purpose to our Christian life. It is supposed to bring clarity to our vocation to be good Christians and to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. What are we looking for? The same thing the wise men were looking for two week ago. The same thing the women were looking for on Easter morning. We are looking for Jesus of Nazareth who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We are looking for our Lord who brings clarity to our lives, whose voice sooths us, brings us comfort and peace, and gives us the courage to go out and raise our voices to the glory of his name.