Newsletter for 14 January 2024 – 2nd Sunday Year B
Our First Reading this week is from 1 Samuel 3:3b–10,19: The Lord calls Samuel. The Responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 40: A prayer of commitment to follow the will of the Lord. Today’s Second Reading is taken from 1 Corinthians 6:13–15,17–20: Paul reminds the Corinthians that their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.. This Sunday’s Gospel Reading is John 1:35–42: John the Baptist recognizes Jesus as the Lamb of God, and Jesus receives his first followers.
Today’s reading from the Gospel according to John immediately follows John the Baptist’s testimony about Jesus and his identification of Jesus as the Lamb of God. Having been baptized by John, Jesus begins to gather followers. The first followers sought out Jesus because of the testimony and witness of John the Baptist. We learn in today’s reading how Jesus’ first followers were gathered. The first two, Andrew and another man, were followers of John the Baptist. After hearing John’s testimony, they became followers of Jesus. During their time with Jesus, Andrew and the other follower came to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Andrew then brings his brother, Simon, to Jesus. Immediately, Jesus gave Simon a new name, calling him Peter, which means “rock” in Greek. The renaming of Simon to Peter is reported in all four of the Gospels.
In the exchange between Andrew, the other disciple, and Jesus, we see an example of the usual pattern for first-century Jewish rabbinical schools. Jews sought out rabbis and established themselves as disciples of a particular rabbi. Jesus appears to have been unique in that he sought out individuals, inviting them to be his followers. Jesus asks Andrew and the other disciple, “What are you looking for?” This is a telling question, and one that we might often ask of ourselves. John the Baptist testified to Jesus’ identity, the Lamb of God, using the framework of the Old Testament. Andrew, Simon, and the other first disciples were looking for the Messiah, whom they also came to know as the Son of God. What do we look for and what do we find in Jesus?