It was called the “Come and See” year. All requirements were bypassed for a year so that students could engage in a program before being fully admitted. There was merit to this process. Both the student and the school could better assess suitability since both were relying on lived experience rather than only on resumes and references.
Growing spiritually, as shown in this Sunday’s gospel, also involves a gradual process of reflecting on lived experience. Andrew and Peter began their journey with Jesus by first being told about him. Then they began to experience life with him. Within that experience they were challenged to identify what they were truly searching for. Finally, they committed to staying and abiding in an ongoing relationship of growth and faith.
Where are you on this “Come and See” journey?
Beginning of the meeting
Read the reflection above and then read the passage of scripture below. Ask the people to pay attention to what images and impressions come to mind as they read or hear these passages?
John 1:29-42 New Revised Standard Version
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, “After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” 31 I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.’ 32 And John testified, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” 34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.’ 35 The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God!’ 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 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?’ 39 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. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated Anointed). 42 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).
Reflect on these questions for a few moments in silence, then turn to another person and discuss.
- Who introduced you to the Christian faith? If someone unfamiliar to the faith asked you to describe Jesus to them, what would you say?
- Can you identify where you are on the “come and see” spiritual journey? Can you sense where your church is along the spiritual journey?
a) Being introduced to faith, b) Beginning to learn and follow, c) Being challenged to go deeper, d) Commitment to fully abide
After a few minutes bring the small group discussion to a close and invite people to talk about their insights and reflections in the larger group.
Ignatius Imaginative Prayer
Invite people to participate in a guided Ignatius Imaginative Prayer by closing their eyes and taking a posture of prayer, relaxing their body and attending to their breathing and then becoming more aware of God’s presence.
Read section John 1: 35-42 again.
Imagine you are inside the story and watching John speak with his disciples as Jesus approaches. In your imagination take a look around. Is there water, sand, warm air, lots of people? Allow for a few moments of silence. You see the two disciples leave John and join Jesus. Jesus turns and asks them what they are looking for? While they reflect on their answer, Jesus turns to you, looks you in the eye with love and asks you, “What are you searching for?” Allow for another moment of silent reflection.
Invite people to write down their reaction or response to this message and share with each other, if they are comfortable.
your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
is the light of the world.
May your people,
illumined by your word and sacraments,
shine with the radiance of his glory,
that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed
to the ends of the earth;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
End of the meeting
Read the passage once again and ask how God’s Good News has been known in your time together.