In today’s Gospel, Philip tells his friend, Nathanael, that “we have found the One who Moses spoke about”. Today the church on this first Sunday of lent, at the beginning of lent, tells us about what life is about, namely being open to finding Jesus.
You might hear in church that we have an obligation to find Jesus Christ. Today’s Gospel turns this around completely. Philip does not find Jesus, as Jesus Himself tells Philip. “I found you”. The people whom Jesus calls are ordinary people, but Jesus will use them to change the world. We might be ordinary, but God often chooses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things.
- Is my reward greater if I go to church more often? Luke 15: 11-32
- Anybody can meet God, if they want to
- Do I know what I need?
We, Christians who are in church today, are not here because we have found Jesus, but rather, because God has found us. He calls us by name and wants us to choose to follow Him.
Lent is about getting to know the One who wants us to be His children. In Ephesians 1.4 St Paul explains this to us. He says, “God chose us before the world began, to be holy and blameless in His sight, to be full of love”. St Paul adds, “through Jesus we are to be His children”.
God does not want us to be His grandchildren. God does not want us to believe because we have heard from others who God is. Since He found us, loves us, chose us, He wants us to follow Him because we ourselves know who He is.
At the beginning of lent, we are asked by the church, in the name of Christ to commit our lives to Him. Because we are chosen by God, we are asked to tell others about Him, not to lose faith or confidence in Him or in this troubled world. Because God gives us His love, power, grace, forgiveness, peace, and joy to make the world better.
As Philip says, if you do not believe this, “come and see yourself”.
What is there to come and see? A lot!
Jesus can change my life, take away my guilt, help me to my feet when I fall.
Jesus can change my attitude towards life and reality. He can give me hope.
Jesus can give me something to live for, despite the difficulties that I may have.
Jesus can forgive me my sins and help me understand that I have an ultimate destiny in the presence of our Lord for eternity.
It is obvious that we ourselves are witnesses or Icons of Christ. We must always show enough respect for ourselves so that we, as a church, show a good example to people who will come and have a look at us.
Our church is all about Jesus Christ. God has chosen us because He has confidence that we will be worthwhile children.
Bishop Peter Stasiuk C.Ss.R. AM
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