January 4, 2020

“What are you looking for?” [Jesus asked]. They said to him, “Rabbi,” “where are you staying?”

Today, few people ask us what we are looking for. All we have to do is type questions into our trusty computer to find the answer to what we are looking for. Perhaps especially in the first century, people were looking for something meaningful. In today’s gospel, we find a story of seekers. They had been followers of John the Baptist. Before our verses today comes John’s account of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, along with the proclamation that Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Upon hearing this news again in verse 36, these two disciples of John leave his side to follow Jesus. That’s when Jesus turns around and notices he’s got company.

His was an existential question, one that challenged them to consider their life’s purpose. It is an invitation for these men to name their intentions and declare a purpose and direction for their actions. Most probably they were looking for meaning and purpose in their otherwise aimless lives. People long for identity, for purpose, for meaning, for healing. They are looking for redemption, for love, for life. The world is ready and willing to offer solutions to the search. But it is seldom the solution Jesus offers.

Jesus found meaning for his life by living not for himself, but for others. We celebrate that gift of self in every Eucharist. There we encounter the One who is the way, the truth, and the life. There we find life’s purpose. There we learn that it is only in giving of ourselves that we find life’s true meaning and our happiness.

How can you seek to follow Jesus more closely today?

Let Us Pray:

O Jesus, give me the courage to ask where you are staying. And give me the wisdom to hear you tell me that it is in the Eucharist, in hearing your word and being nourished by your flesh I can come to rest and peace.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)



About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015.