John the Evangelist is especially interested in indicating to his readers how the small group of Jesus’ followers began. It all looks casual. The Baptist looks at Jesus who is passing by and tells his disciples to go with him: «This is the Lamb of God».
Probably those disciples didn’t understood what’s going on, but they begin «to follow Jesus». For awhile, they walk in silence. They haven’t yet talked with him. They’re following someone unknown and they don’t know exactly why or where.
Jesus breaks the silence with a question: «What do you want?» What do you want from me? Do you want to direct your lives in the direction I’m going? These are things that need to be made very clear. The disciples say to him: «Master, where do you live?» What is the secret of your life? What does it means to live for you? Seemingly they aren’t looking for new doctrines. They want to learn a different way of living from Jesus. They want to live like he does.
Jesus answers them straight out: «Come and see». Have the experience yourselves. Don’t look for information from outside. Come to live with me and you will discover how I live, from where I direct my life, to whom I’m dedicated, why I live this way.
This is the decisive step we need to make today in order to inaugurate a new phase in the history of Christianity. Millions of people say they’re Christians, but they haven’t experienced a true contact with Jesus. They don’t know how he lived, they’re ignorant of his project. They don’t learn anything special from him.
Meanwhile, in our Churches we don’t have the capacity of engendering new believers. Our word no longer ends up attractive or believable. It seems that Christianity, the way we understand and live it, interests others less and less. If someone were to come to us and ask us «where do you live», «what’s interesting in your lives?»: how would we respond?
It’s urgent that Christians come together in small groups in order to learn to live in the style of Jesus, listening together to the Gospel. He is more attractive and believable than all of us. He can engender new followers, since he teaches a way of living that is different and interesting.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf