‘Look, the Lamb of God!’
‘They followed Jesus.’
‘What do you want?’
‘Where are you staying?’
‘Come and you will see.’
‘They spent that day with him.’
When John the Baptist spoke of the one who was to come and then pointed him out, John’s many followers were naturally curious.
Today we see how two of them became followers of Jesus of Nazareth.
This pattern was probably followed by many others.
They do not seem to have been persuaded by theological arguments, quotations from scripture or miraculous works. They were curious, they saw how he lived and heard what he said and were convinced.
We have the very same when John the Baptist (now in prison) had doubts about Jesus from reports he heard. Jesus told the people John sent to question him, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see.’
This seems to be the pattern that Jesus followed; People heard about him from others. They were curious. They came to him, they saw and heard and became his followers.
What Pope Francis is trying to do – what our own Bishop is trying to do with the new three year programme, ‘A people of Hope’ and ‘A future full of Hope,’ is to persuade us to come to Jesus of Nazareth so that we can see and hear.
As you well know Jesus of Nazareth is no longer visibly present.
Jesus of Nazareth is present today in his followers. In groups of people who are dedicated to living in accordance with the example and the word of Jesus of Nazareth.
‘Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age’ he told his followers.
So if people want to see and hear Jesus of Nazareth they have to do so be looking at us and listening to us. That is by looking at and listening to those groups of people who claim to be followers of Jesus of Nazareth. That includes us – the people of St. Patrick’s parish.
So to put it in a nutshell, what Pope Francis is trying to do and our Bishop is trying to do, is to persuade our church ( St. Patrick’s, here in Corsham) to be a place where people can come to hear Jesus of Nazareth and to see how Jesus of Nazareth lives.
Unfortunately for you and I this cannot be achieved by simply reforming our church’s hierarchy. It must involve a personal conversion for you and I.
We can have a brilliant Vatican leadership and administration, a brilliant Diocesan leadership and administration but if I and you do not reflect the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth in our church and in our lives, it is to no avail. We must make it possible for people to come to our parish and there see and hear Jesus of Nazareth.
How just one of us acts, what just one of us says, the attitude of just one of us is what attracts a person to Jesus of Nazareth or puts them off. So each one of us is directly responsible as to whether people can see and hear Jesus of Nazareth in our Church in our parish, or not. This is called evangelisation.