24th August 2021
FINDING JESUS IS ALSO ABOUT BEING FOUND
Psalms 145:10-13, 17-18
Today's Gospel reading is what we call an Epiphany Gospel. What does Epiphany actually mean? Generally, Epiphany is taken as the self revelation of God to humanity and this is well understood when the visitors from the East say, " Where is the baby born to be the King of the Jews? We saw his star when it came up in the east, and we have come to worship him. " Mt. 2:1-12.
Their question and intention show that God's revelation to them was a journey, that is why they travelled from the East to Jerusalem and they found the King in Bethlehem and knelt down to worship him.
Though their experience of Epiphany is a journey, today's Gospel passage shows us that Epiphany can also be an immediate and meaningful understanding of something.
It can be surprising, sudden and profound. Have we ever thought of Epiphany in this way?
Most of the time we tend to expect and think that Epiphany is about the revelation of Jesus , about finding Jesus and witnessing Jesus in various moments of our lives. Which is why the other meaning of Epiphany is about being found ourselves.
If Epiphany is also about being found ourselves, then today's Gospel reading gives us the opportunity to imagine that finding Jesus in those revelatory moments, in those unexpected moments is also when you find yourself - who you are, and who you are called to be.
We have heard from the reading that Jesus saw Nathaniel, whom we also call Bartholomew, coming to him, meaning that he was like the visitors from the East looking for Jesus, and in this process of going to see Jesus he realizes his identity as a follower, a disciple and gets a glimpse of something he may have not seen when it comes to his own faith story, his own discipleship and his concept of what it means to believe.
Nathaniel or Bartholomew was surprised when Jesus told him, " Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile. " Bartholomew even asked Jesus, " How do you know me? " This conversation shows that Jesus sees in Bartholomew what Bartholomew had not even thought about and this makes him move from the prejudice he had about Jesus to a belief that Jesus is the Son of God and the King of Israel. He went to see Jesus but Jesus found something in him.
We find God everyday through God's Word, through the sacraments, through our encounter with other people and through our daily life experiences... in all these, what do you find out about yourself and are you able to find yourself in all these?
What about you do you not want found, or what about Jesus do you not want to find out? When you look for Jesus, you simultaneously see something about yourself that creates a relationship between you and Jesus and God.
We can understand this better by looking at the encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus who went to meet Jesus at night and Jesus told him that no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born again and when Nicodemus did not understand this teaching ,Jesus told him, " You are a great teacher in Israel, and you don't know this?"
Nicodemus went to meet Jesus but Jesus found out something about him. In your life of faith always anticipate learning something about yourself.