By Sister Martha Buser, OSU
The call by Jesus to his first disciples has been our reading from the Gospel recently. Andrew and another friend approached Jesus and he asked them what they wanted.
“Teacher, where are you staying?” “Come and see,” he replied.
What an open dialogue! Come and see.
On a Wednesday some of us went to distribute food and items with The Forgotten Louisville, an organization that sets up a space at one of the parking areas near the Ohio River. We arrived and opened our trunk as did many other people to give whatever items we could.
The people came. All kinds of people came: young and old, men and women and even children. Jesus seemed to say; “Come and see where I am staying.” I didn’t want Jesus to be staying there in the cold and dark, but He called to me: “Come and see where I am staying.”
An older woman came looking for shampoo. We gave her what we had and she received it as if we had given her gold. Many others came, receiving socks, toiletries, peanut butter crackers, a blanket, and even candy. Each person expressed gratitude profusely.
One man remains in my mind and heart. He told me he was a green beret who now lives near Mount Washington. It became clearer to me as he talked that he had mental issues. He took only crackers, thanked me, and then disappeared into the crowd. Jesus was staying with him, certainly.
Jesus gets around. I realized he lives next door to me where a Muslim family lives — a mother, father, and four beautiful young girls aged 11, 9, 7, and 5. At first, I struggled to say their names, but they called me Martha and showed me affection with grace and spontaneity. Their family life is beautiful as they pray and play. The parents are devout in their lives and prayers. Jesus stays with them.
During the Christmas season we read about Anna, who lived and prayed in the Jerusalem temple. In her old age she recognized Jesus when his parents presented him in the temple. In fact, two old people, Simeon as well as Anna, recognized him. They didn’t even need to ask where he was staying. He was staying with them. Sometimes older people feel useless and pushed aside. Not Anna and Simeon. They knew who they were and they knew who Jesus was. Old eyes are often wide open to reality.
I believe Jesus stays everywhere. We, of course, don’t always see him. But if we ask him and pay attention to his response, we’ll discover him and we’ll do what the disciples did: hang around him and get to know him in all the remarkable places he stays.
John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher),
“where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
“We have found the Messiah,” which is translated Christ.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
“You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas,” which is translated Peter.