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Gospel for Sunday, January 14: John 1:35-42

II Sunday B

35The next day John was still standing there with two of his disciples 36 and, fixing his eyes on Jesus as he passed by, said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” 37And the two disciples, hearing him speak thus, followed Jesus. 38 Jesus then turned around and, seeing that they were following him, said, “What are you looking for?” They answered him, “Rabbi (meaning teacher), where do you dwell?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see.” So they went and saw where he dwelt, and that day they stopped by him; it was about four o’clock in the afternoon.
40 One of the two who had heard John’s words and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He met his brother Simon first, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah (meaning the Christ),” 42 and led him to Jesus. Jesus, fixing his eyes on him, said, “You are Simon, the son of John; you shall be called Cephas (meaning Peter)”.

Jh 1:35-42

Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Misericordie, I am Carlo Miglietta, doctor, biblical scholar, layman, husband, father and grandfather ( Also today I share with you a short meditation thought on the Gospel, with special reference to the theme of mercy.

The passage from John (1:35-42) is typological: it presents to us in a few lines the whole dynamic of believing.

The first step is “following” (v. 37), a technical term for discipleship: “These two disciples first undertake an exodus, they leave John to follow Jesus. They set out on his trail, into the desert; Jesus then turns around and, looking them in the eye, asks them, “What do you seek?” This is his first word in the fourth gospel, in the form of a question, a question that Jesus is still asking you, the reader of the gospel, today: “What are you seeking? What is your desire?” Remarkably, Jesus does not make an affirmation, a statement, as would come naturally to so many clergymen who are used to always just affirming, but he asks a question, “Do you seek something? And what?” So those who set out in the footsteps of Jesus must seek to answer this question first of all, must seek to know their own heart, to read and scrutinize it, so as to be aware of what they desire and seek. Let us think about it, but only when we welcome or ask questions do we contradict the closure that holds us tight, and open ourselves” (E. Bianchi).

“To come” and “to see” (v. 39) are the two typical verbs of Faith: the first emphasizes human response, the second the experience of God; and sometimes we experience God only if we have first said “yes” to him with élan.

The goal of discipleship is menein with God (vv. 38-39), that is, to dwell, to dwell with Him: the disciple escapes transience in order to fix himself in the eternal, in the infinite.

“It was about four o’clock in the afternoon” (v. 39): the hour of the wonderful encounter with Jesus remains forever etched in the hearts of the two disciples: it is the moment in fact that transformed their lives, it is the radical turning point of their existence, the most important hour of their history. “That day when the first disciples sought Jesus, followed him and stayed with him was decisive for their whole life, which from that moment on was nothing but a seeking Jesus, following him and trying to live with him, persevering with him: that is the Christian life! In front of the disciple there is always and only a Lamb, a Servant, in any case a meek, inoffensive creature, who ‘bears’ (cf. Jn. 1:29) the burdens of others and does not put them on the shoulders of others; there is someone who gives his life, spends his life and offers it as a sacrifice” (E. Bianchi).

Then follows the profession of Faith, “We have found the Messiah!” (v. 41); and we then become evangelizers in turn: “Andrew…first met his brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah (meaning the Christ),’ and led him to Jesus” (v. 41).

Today’s Gospel is a parable of Faith: we must first abandon ourselves, our own way, to follow Jesus: we must first trust him, his Word, surrender ourselves to him. He then reveals himself, makes us dwell with him, makes us taste the sweetness of God. And only then, filled with him, can we overflow to our brothers and sisters, joyfully proclaiming him to the world.

Happy Mercy to all!

Anyone who would like to read a more complete exegesis of the text, or some insights, please ask me at


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