The More Important Answer
“Come, and you will see.” Christ’s words to Andrew and John today in the Gospel both show us the way God likes to build friendships with those whom He loves, and call us to respond in some practical way to His invitation.
We may notice that when these two former disciples of John the Baptist inquire after Jesus, looking for answers about Him and His life, the Lord does not directly answer them, but draws them first into His company. This is all the more notable since the question they asked Him was a simple one: where are you staying? Given His answer, Jesus is clearly not interested in simply conveying information, but rather in letting these disciples meet Him and spend time in His presence. He longs to teach them experientially who He really is, and clearly, even an afternoon is enough to convince them of what they later tell Peter: “we have found the Messiah.” Christ knows the hearts of Andrew and John, and seeing clearly the desire for God, He gives them far more than they ask for, filling them with joy and setting them on the grand mission that will lead to their glorious entrance into Heaven.
Of course, when Christ responds to our questions the way He did to theirs, we might not always react with the same joy. When we have difficulties in our lives, and bring them to Christ, sometimes what we chase is the bare information, or the simple cure. We may come to Christ seeking to understand exactly why something has happened, what we should do about it, or how God is going to fix it. When Christ says to us, just as He did to the first Apostles “come and stay with me,” we might not find it comforting in the same way. It takes an act of faith to trust that simply remaining in the presence of the Lord really is the answer to every question and every difficulty. We may seek the immediate and practical solution, but Jesus is always seek-ing the friendship that is itself the solution.
This should also teach us something about understanding God’s will in our lives. Whether in discerning our vocations, or simply trying to see how God wants us to navigate a situation in the lives we already lead, pursuing deeper friendship with the Lord always leads us to the correct answer. God might not give us extraordinary signs in prayer, directing down a certain route, just as He did not give a simple answer to Andrew and John, but He does give the answer by inviting us closer to Him-self. If we make our decisions based on whether each route will lead us into deeper love for the Lord and the ones He has given us, we will surely not go astray, and may find that in keeping our eyes focused on Him, the Lord has taken us on an ad-venture we would never have thought possible had we been told directly.
This week, we ought to make acts of faith and of trust in this God who desires our friendship, so that we might stay faithful to this often unclear, but always sure path until it finds its end in the bright lands of the heavenly kingdom.