WHAT ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR? Prayer Reflection for 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, B

If you are asked to make a wish and it shall be granted, what would you ask? From daily experience in the ministry, I have come to realize that people are always in search of various reasons: what they truly need or vain things! At this special time of the year; as you draw your plan for the year, ask yourself: “What am I searching for?” “What do I want from Jesus this year?” This personal reflection should cause you to slow down, take stock, and observe what motives might be revealed through your actions. Is this difficult for you to do; or have you many things clouding your mind? I shall help you, just read slowly...

John 1:35-42
As John stood with two of his disciples, Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God.’ Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned around, saw them following, and said, ‘What are you searching for?They answered, ‘Rabbi,’ – which means Teacher – ‘where do you live?’ ‘Come and see’ he replied; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of that day. It was about the tenth hour.
1. Like the two disciples of John who went in search of Jesus, we too are always in search and have many questions to ask. We are in search of a comfortable life, an increase in income, good health, security and safety, love and friendship, power and prestige, etc. But unlike these disciples who knew precisely what they wanted, many do not have a precise idea of what they need but are driven by trends and style of popular culture. They want something because they see others having it. They want to 'feel among' just for its satisfaction. And when they don't get it they are restless; and are sad. But why?

2. Child of God seeking security and safety are not bad, however, the truth is that real security in worldly things is not possible.  Don't you realize life is constantly changing and with those changes comes the good, the bad, the challenging, and the stressful? The surest security is Jesus Christ, His power and His promises are the only things that can bring true, lasting, eternal security.
3. Many pursue power or prestige, and the commonest way of obtaining this is through a career. Using the gifts and talents that God has given us for the benefit of ourselves, our families and communities is a good thing. However, if our motives are to build our own kingdom, amass personal wealth, gain control over others, then our aim is self-centered and eventually destructive physically and spiritually. Only when we have an other-centered, eternally driven perspective does it more closely intersect with God’s will.
4. In pursuing comfort in our world today it is quite easy to be distracted by those things that cause us to be selfish rather than charitable. Desiring comfort instead of sacrifice is a battle we must all face. Keeping our focus on "eternal things" helps us to prioritize the things that really matter.  Hence Scripture admonishes: set your minds on things above and not on things below (Col. 3:2). Pursuing goals that are important to God is not only wise eternally but beneficial to our lives right now. Be on guard and meditate on how you spend your time, your money, your energy.
5. Come and See! This was the response of Jesus to the disciples when they asked "where do you live". And the bible says "they went and saw where he lived". And to prove that these disciples were in search of something more than Jesus' House, the bible adds they stayed/remained with him for the rest of the day. They wanted an experience that will satisfy their innermost desires hence they remained with Jesus. They wanted to experience a house not built with stones! Hence elsewhere, Jesus says birds have nests, foxes have holes but the son of man has no place to lay his head (Lk. 9:58). Where then is the house of Jesus if not in our hearts; where can we experience the divine (God) if not in the innermost part of our being? Little wonder St. Paul says our bodies are the temple (house) of the Holy Spirit- God dwells in us. Just stay with Jesus, you will see far...
TASK: Ask yourself again: "what am I searching for? Pause for a while and pray Psalm 4 now, paying attention to the second verse, and asking the Lord to guide your choices on the right path.

© Fr. SimOne Madu, OSJ 

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