January 4th, 2023

The Gospel According to John (1: 35-42)

John was 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.

Reflection: I find it interesting that in John’s Gospels, there are sometimes references to the time of day, ‘It was about four in the afternoon’. The Jewish method of calculating, the daylight hours were divided into twelve, counting from sunrise to sunset. Having defined that, the fourth hour is not 4am or 4pm, it is the fourth hour from the rising or the setting of the sun. So, as the disciples were fishermen by trade, they would have finished their days work, which was done mostly in the early hours. This means that they would be resting, mending their nets or just idle from their accomplishments of the morning catch and bring them into the path of Jesus. John is using the Roman or Jewish method of counting time. Even in the simplest of narratives, it gives us, the reader, a more vivid picture of the words that are describing the time and place of the reading, bringing it more to life. 

The other interesting point of this Gospel passage is the introduction of Jesus as the ‘Lamb of God’ to John’s disciples and that they immediately began to follow Jesus and leaves the company of John the Baptist. It’s almost like John is openly passing the torch from his ministry to Jesus.

Action of the Day: Where do you experience the best time of day to spend with the Lord? For me, early in the morning is the best time for me. And since I am an early riser, that would make it ten in the evening? I find that time is the best for me, as it is when my mind is the clearest and not cluttered with the events of the day. When are you the most attentive to our Lord? Try other times and see if His voice becomes clearer to you.

Audio Reflection:

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