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Father Muench Says...

‘What are you looking for?’

January 24, 2024

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Do remember the first time you met Jesus? I don’t mean the first time you learned something about Jesus, but rather the first time you opened your heart for the powerful presence of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. The time your life was truly changed by the presence of Jesus.

Recently, we had a Sunday Gospel reading from St. John that was the story of when St. John himself first met Jesus. His story told us of the very first time that St. John, himself, experienced the presence of the Lord Jesus. St. John shows us the day that his life was to become all about Jesus.

The story is fascinating since we know that he was telling us about something that happened to him 60 years ago. He remembers that day in detail, even mentions the time of day. John and Andrew were standing near St. John the Baptist. We are told that St. John the Baptist noticed Jesus’ walking by and point him out saying, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” John the Baptist testifies that Jesus will be a Savior, just as that blood of a lamb saved the Hebrew families at the time of the Exodus.

John and Andrew follow Jesus. Jesus noticed them and turned and asked them, “What are you looking for?” They respond, “Where are you staying?” Jesus answered, “Come and you will see.” We are told that they spent the whole day with Jesus.

I would like to tell you that I believe that each time we participate at Mass – in fact, each time we enter the Church, even each time we begin to pray to the Lord Jesus –Jesus turns to ask each of us, “What are you looking for?” How would you answer the Lord. As for me, I want Jesus to come into my life at this time, into my heart in every way, always ready to guide me on this day as I journey along the road to becoming a saint.

Now, I would like to share with you the first time I remember meeting Jesus. Actually, it was several years after I had become a priest before I found Jesus as my Lord and Savior, before Jesus truly transformed my life. Oh, I knew a great deal about Jesus in those days, and I had learned all that I should do and accomplish as a priest. But, in all honesty, my ministry as a priest was not alive, not on fire with Jesus. I had not discovered all that Jesus expected from me.

I know that it was when Jesus found me, changed me in every way. It was when Jesus sent into my life many wonderful people, they were true saints. In those days, Jesus blessed me with some powerful experiences through which Jesus truly entered into my life, Jesus truly found me, helped me, changed me. Jesus became a part of all that I am, all that I needed to be a dedicated priest and person. Jesus put me on the road for the journey to become a saint one day.

So, you must find Jesus. You must become open so that Jesus can find you in that special, powerful way. It begins with the Eucharist. Each time you receive Holy Communion, Jesus wants to join you in a strong relationship, a mighty friendship, a friendship that will change who you are and that will lead you ever closer to the Lord Jesus.

It is all about Jesus. Jesus wants to walk with you. Jesus wants to be close to you. Jesus finds us when we are open and listen to him. We must become aware of the Lord’s presence. We must hear his word, his message, his challenge.

Then you are on the road to becoming a saint.

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