"what are you looking for?" (jn 1:38)
"Though princes meet and talk against me, Your servant meditates on Your statutes." —Psalm 119:23
Stephen did the work of God, believing in the One He sent (Jn 6:29). Because Stephen was looking for Jesus, he was able to persevere and concentrate on what was happening in heaven rather than on earth (Col 3:2), even though powerful leaders were talking against Him (Ps 119:23). In fact, Stephen saw Jesus seated at God's right hand (Acts 7:55), and his strong faith was bolstered even more in the face of persecution.
The people in today's Gospel reading were also looking for Jesus, which is good. However, they weren't looking for Jesus in the same way Stephen was. The crowds were attracted to Jesus, but they were also looking to have their needs met, which is understandable. This is better than not looking for Jesus. But will the people in the crowds be able to persevere and concentrate on Jesus when the storms come? (see Mt 7:24ff) We don't know if the people in the crowds persevered or not.
There are two examples of looking for Jesus in today's eucharistic readings: Stephen and the crowds. Whose example will you follow? "What are you looking for?" (Jn 1:38) Will you look for Jesus for His sake alone? Will you look for Him because He is Risen Lord? Will you look for Jesus because of Who He is? "Fix your eyes on Jesus" (Heb 3:1). If you look for Jesus, you will find Him (Mt 7:7; Jer 29:13).
Prayer: Father, may my soul be consumed with You at all times (Ps 119:20), especially when I am persecuted for my faith in You.
Promise: "This is the work of God: have faith in the One Whom He sent." —Jn 6:29
Praise: Even through her darkest spiritual nights, Donna knows that her Redeemer lives!
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, XXX 11, 2011
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