The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”
The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 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?” 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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Some years ago, as other religious communities before us, Jesuits of the Midwest began to host “Come and See” weekends at Loyola University Chicago for men 18-35 who wanted to learn more about Jesuit life. As director of vocations, I always became quietly excited as those weekends approached. God’s grace was amazingly palpable and evident in the lives of these participants—they were truly seekers. Like the disciples in today’s gospel, these men were attracted to Jesus; they wanted to grow closer to him; they wanted to “come and see” where Jesus lives.
As Christians, each one of us is a seeker—whether single or married, a parish priest or a vowed religious. We all want to grow closer to Jesus. Thus today’s feast day is for all of us who seek to discern God’s grace in the footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola, using the tools of Ignatian discernment to “read the signs of the times,” and to sift through the daily movements of consolation and desolation in our own minds and hearts. If we are faithful to the graces of our baptism, faithful to our daily examen and the ongoing discernment of movements within our souls, then Christ truly lives within us. That spiritual strength will be evident to those who want to know where Jesus lives and to follow him.
—Fr. Brian Paulson, S.J. is the provincial superior of the Jesuits of the Chicago-Detroit province.
In prayer, try reflecting on the following questions.
1. Call to mind an experience when you felt God was inviting you to “come and see” where Jesus is living. Perhaps it was an experience of feeling drawn to help someone hurting or in need because Christ was present in that person. How did you respond to that invitation?
2. Do you have any small daily disciplines or “spiritual exercise” that helps you understand the movements of consolation and desolation within your heart? If not, how about trying the Ignatian Examen?
3. What more can I do to encourage young men and women to consider vocation to lay ministry, religious life, and priesthood, and lay ministry within our Church?