In today’s Gospel (John 1: 35-42), John the Baptist points out Jesus to two of his disciples. They follow after Jesus who, at some point, turns around, sees them, and asks them, “What are you looking for?” They respond with a question, “Where are you staying?” Jesus responds, “Come and see.” They go where he is staying and stay with him.
I don’t think that these two disciples aren’t looking for a doctrine, a series of teachings. They are looking for someone to hang out with who will make sense of life, who will respond to their dreams and hopes. They are looking for that personal connection – in community – with a person who is full of Life and Love.
They hang out with Jesus and then Andrew invites his brother Simon to join them. Hanging out with Jesus has led Andrew to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, God’s anointed one and he has to share it.
Where are you hanging out, Jesus? Where do I encounter you?
Am I open to following behind you and then spending time with you?
For me, an important part of hanging out with Jesus is setting aside time in the morning for prayer and quiet – praying some psalms and meditating on the daily readings.
But I also think that spending time with the people around me, especially the poor, may be another way to hang out with Jesus.
I don’t think my mission is merely a question of doing things for the poor. Rather, first of all it’s being with them, with those I encounter every day.
It’s not without significance that here I occasionally encounter people named Jesús – both men and women. Last week, Jesús stopped by my house to give me six patastes, a vegetable that abounds here (like zucchini in the US). We talked a bit and he left.
I don’t think I was aware as I could have been of how in this encounter I had a chance to hang out with Jesus – not only in times of prayer, but also in times of visiting with others.
“Come and see,” Jesus told the two disciples.
I’m here, but do I always see? And do I let myself hang out with Jesus and Jesús?