This week and next, we have two Gospel accounts about the same event: the calling by Jesus of his first disciples. This Sunday we hear John’s account, and next Sunday Mark’s description. John the Evangelist is writing at the end of the first century. Having lived as a believer and having reflected on faith for about 70 years after Jesus’ resurrection, John the Evangelist discloses the true identity of Jesus in this Gospel. He writes that John the Baptist calls Jesus “the Lamb of God,” and Andrew names Him “the Messiah … Christ.” We are so used to these ideas, these beliefs, but it must have been spiritually and intellectually challenging for those early believers to embrace this understanding of Jesus’ Divine identity. In this Gospel passage, John the Baptist prompts two of his own disciples to follow Jesus, and Andrew, one of them, finds his brother Simon, who will become the leader of the Apostles, and brings him to Jesus. I am prompted to examine my own willingness to speak about Jesus persuasively in order to bring others to Him — like the Baptist and Andrew did! Our pope wants us to be evangelists, so I ask for that grace this week.
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia; illustration by Sister Eileen Tomlinson