Come and See

(Fr. Gee is parochial vicar at Our Lady of Angels Parish, Woodbridge, Virginia. This article courtesy of the Arlington Catholic Herald.)

Imagine the anxiety in searching and waiting for the one who could bring them what they sought. So, one day, while they were just standing around doing whatever they were doing, this happened: “John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God.' The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and 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 you will see.'”

All it took was one quick sentence — “Behold the Lamb of God” — and they were off. So long, see you later, nice knowing you, thanks for all your help John, but we gotta go, Adios. They simply left John and followed Christ. Then, when He turns and acknowledges them, He just asks a simple question which they seem to answer with a question. However, as far as they were concerned, the deal was sealed. They had prepared for this moment. they had lived for this moment. And the moment had arrived, the only thing to do was to take advantage of the situation and make sure the Lord did not leave without them. There was no way they could answer that question with words. They were ready to devote the rest of their lives to the answering of that question — as a matter of fact, they would devote their very lives before it was all said and done. They were no longer seeking, they had found what they were looking for, so they ask, “Where are you staying?” What does Christ do? He seals it completely — “Come and see.”

The first encounter with Christ is so profound that words can not really be used to describe it. The whole thing almost seems nonchalant. There is no callithump, no horns and pipers. No yelling and screaming and jumping for joy. Rather, it seems peaceful. They have committed themselves, and that is all there is to it. As for Christ, He accepts it, knowing what they will go through before it is all over.

Ask any couple who are happily married about when they knew that they were called to be together and how they knew it, and they will inevitably tell you, “we just knew it.” Ask any priest or religious about their vocation and they will tell you the same thing. When God calls and we answer properly, words will never suffice to explain the peaceful joy that accompanies it.

The only thing which remains is that which remained for the disciples — to live that vocation every day.