The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he 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 see.’ They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter).
Having just reflected upon the moment when John declared: Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, we now move into a moment where that great proclamation of faith bears fruit. In a recent conversation, someone said to me: But you never know what good your words and actions might be doing. This is, of course, very true. We never know what good, or harm, we might be bringing into the lives of others, which makes it all the more crucial that we pray and consider carefully how we interact with those we meet day by day. However, in today’s reading we do witness the impact John’s message of faith had on others.
Two of John’s disciples heard his words about Jesus. They heard and then they turned and followed. One of those disciples of John, Andrew, then took the message to his brother, Peter. Then an amazing thing happened. They went to where Jesus was staying, and they remained with him that day. This small detail is often overlooked as we focus on the calling of the first disciples, but can you imagine what it must have been like to spend the whole day in the company of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, the one of whom John said: this is the Son of God?
We have no way of knowing how that day went, what was discussed, how the one they called Rabbi shared his knowledge with those eager pupils. But, we do know that by the end of that day Jesus had already laid the foundation of what was to come as he renamed Simon as Cephas (Peter), the name which means ‘rock’. Later in the gospels we will learn of the fallibilities and weaknesses of Peter, we will learn just how human he is. We will also learn that he is destined to become the rock upon which Christ’s Church will be built.
Today we hear of Jesus’ ministry and mission beginning as he chooses the first of that company of disciples and apostles who take the Good News into the world. Today we hear of ordinary people being chosen by Jesus to act as his ambassadors. It is fair to assume that they did not see anything particularly special in themselves, but they were ready for Jesus to test them as he responded to his call in faith.
Let us pray that we might be ready to trust Jesus as he calls us into his service. Let us pray that we might trust in his judgement about our gifts and talents, and not rely upon the false boundaries and glass ceilings we impose upon ourselves. Let us pray that we might stand firm in our faith, rocks that others can depend upon as we share the Good News with all.