Seeking the Lord out
Friday, January 05, 2018
1 Jn 3:11-21
Jesus decided to set off for Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the one that Moses wrote about in the Law, and the prophets as well: he is Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
Nathanael replied, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, he said of him, “Here comes an Israelite, a true one; there is nothing false in him.” Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?” And Jesus said to him, “Before Philip called you, you were under the fig tree and I saw you.”
Nathanael answered, “Master, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” But Jesus replied, “You believe because I said: ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ But you will see greater things than that.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
It was only their first meeting and yet it seemed Jesus had already known Nathanael from Adam.
Something similar could be said of us. Even before we became Catholics, God already looked upon us with mercy. He was the first to love us as Shepherd searching for lost sheep.
God will always make the first move. But this does not suggest that we just wait in passivity. As Nathanael did so we should seek the Lord out actively. This is really about exercising human freedom.
The Shepherd will endeavor to find the lost sheep. But he will never drag an unwilling sheep back to the fold. By actively seeking the Lord out, we manifest our desire to return to the fold.
One seeks the Lord out in an environment of prayer. How pathetic that some people justify their failure to set aside time for prayer by reasoning out that they are praying as they are working anyway.
While one can pray while working, one cannot work while praying. Like cars that must stop at the fuel station to gas up, we must retire to a lonely place by ourselves to pray.
Such environment of prayer heightens our need for God and strengthens our awareness of our Christian identity. It then moves us to repentance because it makes us realize that sin and God cannot coexist in the life of a Christian. Disciplining the body that causes sin is the necessary consequence. This results to endurance in one’s search for God because the body that weighs down the Spirit no longer has the chance to throw its weight around.
As Jesus took interest in Nathanael, Jesus is interested in us too. But he won’t gate-crush his way into our lives. We have to seek him out through prayer and repentance. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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