None of these things made them stay in Jesus’ place because simply Jesus didn’t have a splendid house or expensive food or home theater with huge plasma. It was Jesus himself who made the place so special for them that they felt at home there. The place wasn’t breathtaking but the person who inhabited it took the breath away from the two disciples of John the Baptist who would become the first disciples of Jesus. One of them was Andrew the other is believed to be St John the Apostle whose Gospel was read a few minutes ago. John wrote the Gospel as an old man, many decades after Jesus ascension to heaven, but still, after so many years he remembered that it was at 10 am when Jesus invited him and Andrew over.
How vivid and precious the memory of that first encounter with Jesus must have been to St John that even the passing years didn’t fade it out.
So, what did they see in Jesus? ” St Andrew put it in a simple way: “We have found the Messiah, the Savior, the Lamb of God.”
Look, a few hours with Jesus transformed Andrew and John forever.
Although on this second Sunday of the ordinary time we read the Gospel according to St John I’d like to recall a story from the Gospel of St Luke. Can you remember the story of the prodigal Son? What is the story about?
There is a father and there are two sons of him. The younger takes his inheritance and goes to a far away country where he looses all the money he got from his father. In the end he comes to his senses and returns home as a contrite prodigal son. I hope we remember the welcome he was given by his father. That’s why the story should be called the parable of the merciful father rather then the parable of the prodigal son. Though the prodigal son takes most of the story it is the father who is in the center of the parable.
I think that we don’t need specialist studies to recognize God the Father in the Father from the parable and us in the two sons. However the question appears: Where is Jesus in the parable?
Some of the Christian teachers from the early stage of the church, from the second and third century say that the arms with which the father embraces the prodigal son are Jesus Christ. The arm of the Father is the Jesus.
That day at Jesus’ John and Andrew experienced the same compassion, forgiveness, tenderness, joy, peace, in one word – love which the prodigal son felt when the arms of his father were holding him against his father heart.
For John and Andrew who came from the people who were very sensitive to God it was an overwhelming experience. They might have felt like the young Samuel from the first reading when he realized that God was speaking to him. John and Andrew might have remembered all the testimonies of the prophets and the holy people from the past about their God revealing himself as the one who cares for his people. It was the same God, this time embracing them through Jesus Christ.
It is a powerful image to be treasured for life: Our Lord Jesus Christ is the extended hand of God embracing us, pressing us against the heart of the Father; the heart which is full of merciful love for us.
I’m not surprised that Andre and John stayed with Jesus.