Jan 5 (Jn 1:43-51)

An incident is told about a famous agnostic ( = a person who believes that nothing is known/can be known of the existence or nature of God)…

… who was staying as a guest in the house of a Catholic Family.

When Sunday came around, all the members of the family got ready to go to Church.

But this agnostic was not willing to.

>> In fact, he approached the owner of the house and asked him to stay back, without going to Church.

“Why not avoid going to Church today,” he told the owner, “and instead stay back and tell me what does your Catholic Faith mean to you!”

The owner- a devout and staunch, yet simple Catholic – got perplexed: “You have the capability to destroy any argument and any opponent.

>> I am just an simple Catholic. I am not clever enough to argue with you.”

But the agnostic continued gently: “I don’t want to argue with you. I just want you

to tell me simply what this Christ means to you.”

The man stayed at home and simply told him of his faith.

The incident goes on to say that, when he had finished…

… there were tears in the agnostic’s eyes.

Yes, it was not clever argument that touched the agnostic’s heart…

… but the simple story of a man’s faith!

>> Where arguments, prejudices and rhetoric fail…

… there faith and love always win!

>> Where bombastic words and complicated talks fail to touch…

… an experience of God’s Power and Grace can work wonders!

The Gospel of the Day presents such a beautiful experience…

… of a person who was made to go beyond the “influence of prejudice and rhetoric” and thus could “experience God’s Power and Grace”!

The Gospel narrates the incident of Philip, who has already had a “Come and See” Experience (Jn 1: 39).

After “experiencing” the Lord, Philip goes to his town Bethsaida, where he meets Nathanael. (Jn 1: 44-45)

Nathanael – a name which means, “God has given” is an interesting character.

When Philip who had met Jesus, went and told Nathaneal that “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth…” (Jn 1: 45)…

… Nathanael put forward a blunt question, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (Jn 1: 46)

Nathanael showed forth a cynical and doubtful mind…

… probably due to his prejudice and bias.

But…

>> Where arguments, prejudices and rhetoric fail…

… there faith and love always win!

>> Where bombastic words and complicated talks fail to touch…

… an experience of God’s Power and Grace can work wonders!

And so, Philip invites Nathanael to have a first-hand experience of the Lord, by telling Him, “Come and See” (Jn 1: 46b)

Nathanael was relying more on the “the power of rhetoric” and the “strength of logical argument”

>> He depended more on his past experience and his ability to “put forth ideas”

But Philip is willing to show how the power of rhetoric” and the “strength of logical argument” can be easily won over by the Experience of God’s Love and Faith in Him!

Philip himself was told by Jesus, “Come and See” (Jn 1: 39)

>> He went and saw… and with an experience, had his life transformed!

He now invites Nathanael to do the same: “Come and See” (Jn 1: 46b)

>> So that he too can go and see… and have an experience, to have his life transformed!

Here’s a big lesson to all of us:

>> Unless we have a first-hand experience of God’s Love and Providence…

… we will only remain in the level of “rhetoric and argument”

>> Unless we thirst to be filled with God’s Presence and Comfort…

… we will only be stuck with our “past experiences and prejudices”

Nathanael would “dare” to have the “Come and See” Experience…

… and that would result in his public confession: “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel” (Jn 1: 49)

Are we willing to have the “Come and See” experience…

… like Philip?

… like Nathanael?

Let us realize that it is not arguments or rhetoric that would help us to grow in our faith…

… rather an “experience” of the Lord and His Love!

Many of us perhaps “know a lot about God”

>> But how many of us “know God a lot?”?

Many of us perhaps can regularly give “talks on God”

>> But how many of us, regularly, “talk to God?”

Let the “Come and See” Experience of Nathanael be an inspiration for all of us…

… to grow in our thirst for the Lord

Through…

… Regular prayer

… Reception of the Sacraments

… Reading of the Bible

… Recognizing the guidance of God in all what we do

… Recounting the many blessings of God

>> May we constantly grow in this “Come and See” Experience of the Lord!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Do not become upset when difficulty comes your way. Laugh in its face and know that you are in the hands of God.”

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