Jan. 14, 05 Second Sunday (A)

When I teach a catechumnate, I wince at the words: “If you want to be a Christian, you have to “study the doctrine.” Yes, we study the teachings of Jesus but the purpose of the catechumenate is to develop a loving personal relationship between the catechumen and our Lord. We also commit ourselves to have this relationship with Him present in the Christian community.

To appreciate today’s gospel and its message for us, we tell a little story. Rebecca works in a large office. Mr. Hui is the boss. He is also an important person in Hong Kong society. The employees don’t know him that well. Although he is fair and honest, the employees keep their distance. The relationship between Rebecca and Mr. Hui is that of employer-employee.
One day Rebecca gets seriously ill and is admitted to the hospital. By coincidence Mr. Hui is visiting his mother in the same hospital. From then on whenever he visits his mother, Mr. Hui visits Rebecca. They soon become friends. The relationship- between Rebecca is now friend-to-friend. She now knows Mr. Hui in a new way. {I think you know where this leading.) They fall in love and marry. During their marriage there relationship grows and deepen. There is so much to know about each other. This is a new kind of relationship. This is a deepening of the relationship. Yes, husband and wife. Throughout their lives Rebecca and Mr. Hui know each other better and better.

“The next day when John caught sight of Jesus coming toward him, he exclaimed:


Each day John the Baptist went to the river Jordan. There he would preach to crowds of people. He would warn his listeners to change their lives and prepare for the coming of the Messiah. And many of his listeners determined to repent and prepare themselves to meet the Messiah. As sign of their repentance they asked John for Baptism. This was a symbol that they repented of their sins and wanted them to be washed away.
Jesus and John were cousins. John the Baptist family lived near Jerusalem whereas the Holy Family lived in Nazareth about 96 miles north from Jerusalem. And we presume that Mary, Joseph and Jesus would make a yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the Passover. And when they were in Jerusalem they certainly visited with Elizabeth, Zachary and John. Although the gospel doesn’t say so it is likely that Jesus and John would play together. As they grew older they would share their dreams, their plans and their joys.
In today’s gospel John “caught sight” of Jesus. He certainly recognized Jesus as his childhood companion. But also he said in the passage:” I confess I did not recognize him…” But today the Holy Spirit tells John marvelous things about his cousin. The Holy Spirit invites John to live out these new relationships.
John shouted to the crowds: “There is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” John recognized Jesus as his Savior. Next he recognizes his relationship- with his cousin Jesus is “a man who ranks ahead of me, because he was before me.” He began to see that Jesus was more than a good man. He was the Son of God. And the Holy Spirit gave testimony that Jesus was the person whom he said he was. What a change in the relationship of John with Jesus.
To John, Jesus was his cousin…perhaps his childhood companion…later when Jesus began his public ministry Jesus was John’s partner in building God’s Kingdom on earth.
Now John recognized Jesus in a new way. Suddenly John recognized Jesus the Messiah—the one who came to save the world including John the Baptist. For the first time John saw Jesus as his Savior. For the first time John saw Jesus as the Paschal Lamb who would sacrifice himself for all including John the Baptist. For the first time John recognized Jesus as the Son of God who came to share divine life with the world including John the Baptist.
RESPONSE We were baptized not because we mastered the catechism and at exam time passed the catechumate exam. Rather we committed ourselves to loving relationship with Jesus our Savior. We committed ourselves to nurture this relationship. Throughout our lives, in good times and bad, we promised to be true to him and to continue to deepen this relationship through our lives. Throughout our lives, we wish to learn more about this friend.
As children we saw Jesus as an elder brother. As we grew older we saw Jesus as our companion. Now that we are old we may see Jesus as our younger brother.
We received Baptism because we put our Faith in Jesus. We or through our godparents and family, we committed ourselves to be Jesus’ loyal friends. Each of us had some images in our mind. Perhaps it was a follower and leader relationship. Sometimes we may have experienced Jesus as a comforter. We had many images of Jesus in our minds. For some it meant From then on
This morning we ask ourselves: Do I have as loving a relationship with Jesus as I did when I was baptized? How has my relationship with Jesus changed over the years?
What are the ways of nurturing our loving relationship with Jesus? 1) Spend some time with Him each day even if neither of you has anything new to say that day. 2) Read a passage from the gospels to discover the kind of person Jesus is. 3) Whatever we are doing, do it with the Lord.

DATE \@ "MMM. d, yy" Jan. 14, 05 Second Sunday (A)
TEXT: “The next day when John caught sight of Jesus coming toward him, he exclaimed: ‘Look…’”
ONE WORD: Seeing
TWO WORDS: Seeing Jesus
TOPIC SENTENCE: Jesus challenges us to see him more deeply, more intimately, more lovingly.
DESIRED RESULT: Father, your homily made me examine my knowledge of Jesus. I saw him as a younger brother instead of as an older brother.
CHURCH TEACHING: “To catechize is to ‘reveal in the Person of Christ the whole of God’s eternal design reaching fulfillment in that Person.’ …Catechesis aims at putting people…in communion with Christ…’” [Catectissi tradendae: 5] [CT]TIDBITS: I didn’t do any from September 12 04, till this homily. A broken arm, a fever and a skin problem.
I’LL BE HAPPY IF AT LEAST THEY REMEMBER We have a special loving relationship with Jesus. The relation can constantly deepen.

Ue4 kwoh2 ngooh5 dei6 sheung yan sheung2 kam yat6 ke3
fuk yam, ngoh5 dei6 hoh2 i5 ts’it3 ho2 kaan2 daan ke3 pei2 ue6. Ah3 yingt hai2 yat kaan ho2 daai6 ke baan6 shi6 ch’ue3 tso6 pei6 sue. Hui SS tsau6 hai6 lo5 baan2. K’ui% chi2 hai6 35 sui3 taai6 ke3. K’ui5 sheung dong leng3. Paan6 shi6 ch’ue3 ke3 nui5 si6 i5 wai4 k’ui5 hai6 yat ho2 catchl. K’ui5 to hai6 hai2 hk se5 ooi6 yat koh3 big shot ho2 daai6 nap lo5. K’ui5 to pong choh6 ho2 doh se5 ooi6 charitable works.
Hui SS t_ ah3 ying mui5 yat6 kong2 do6 ki2 fan chung yau5 kwaan koh2 yat6 kung tsok3 ke si6. Th Ah3 ying mo5 kei ooi6 t’ung4 KI’ui5 k’ing taam4 ha5. K’ui5 dei6 ke3 kwaan hai6 tsau6 lo5 baant’ung4 kung yan4 ke kwaan hai6.
Sa0205 DATE \@ "MMM. d, yy" Jan. 14, 05 Second Sunday (A) John:1-29-34 PAGE 4