COME, STAY WITH ME

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time           

            Jesus asks two of John the Baptist’s disciples: “What are you looking for?” Katumbas nito ang pagtatanong na: “What do you want?” The disciples simply ask, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Another translation is: “Where do you live?” Nais nilang malaman kung saan naninirahan si Hesus, saan sila maaaring sumama at marahil makipag-usap, makipagkwentuhan – maglaan ng panahon sa tahanan niya. They want to know what it is to be around Jesus, to be in the place where he lives.

            Jesus tells them, “Come, and you will see.” The Lord is somehow saying: “Come… Stay with me… Come to my home… Look around… Get to know me…” This is actually a loving invitation to have   a personal intimate, loving relationship with Jesus. For Jesus is our home, our refuge, our hiding place. He is the place where we want to dwell all the days of our life.

            Indeed, the Lord wants to be our home. He wants to be everything that makes us feel at home. Sa isang mapanganib na mundo na puno ng kaguluhan at karahasan, ng kasiraan at kapahamakan, ng sigalutan at digmaan, may isang lugar na kailangan nating puntahan na nagsisilbing safe refuge para sa atin. There is this place where we want to be. We want to be in the House of the Lord – to feel safe, to be embraced, to be cared for, to be loved.

            ‘Yung panalangin sa Psalm 84 ay ito ang pinahahayag: “Where else does my heart want to stay but in the House of the Lord?” Let this be our prayer: to be in the House of the Lord. Nais ko kayong anyayahan na manalangin gamit ang isang awit na batay sa Psalm 84: How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place

            The word ‘house’ or ‘home’ or ‘dwelling’ is of great significance in the Bible. In John 14:2-3, Jesus talks about his Father’s house: “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.” “If I go… I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.” Nangungusap si Hesus tungkol sa tahanan ng kanyang Ama na kung saan laging may marangyang handaan, nag-uumapaw ang masasarap na pagkain at inumin, where life will be one great celebration.

            Subalit bago pa man nabanggit si Hesus ang tahanan ng Ama sa ganitong paraan, una nang nabanggit sa Ebanghelyo ni San Juan ang pananahan ng Diyos. Nangungusap ang Ebanghelyong ito tungkol sa Incarnationo Pagkakatawang-tao ng Diyos bilang pananahan ng Diyos sa atin. John’s Gospel opens with an incredible vision of home: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

            Home is what the Incarnation is all about. Ayon kay Henri Nouwen, ito raw ay paraan ng Diyos nang pagsasabi sa atin: “I have made my home in you so you can make your home in me.” Sa Pagkakatawang-tao ng Diyos ginawa niya tayong tahanan niya. At inaanyayahan tayo na gawin siyang tahanan natin. “We are to realize that we are God’s home and that we are invited to make our home where God has made God’s home.” (Nouwen) We are to realize that right where we are, right here in this body, with this face, with these hands, with this heart, we are the place where God can dwell. Hayaan nating tumimo ito sa isip at puso natin… hayaan itong manuot sa bawat himaymay ng pagkatao natin.

            Ang paanyaya ni Hesus na “Come and see” ay sadyang makahulugan.Inaanyayahan niya tayo na maging bahagi ng tahanan at pamilya ng Diyos. Sabi niya: “Just as the Father loves me so I love you.” (John 15:9). The Love between the Father and the Son has a name: Holy Spirit. So, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon us is the pouring out of God’s very Love. This is how the Lord God dwells in us.

            Ang pagtawag ni Hesus sa atin na sumunod sa kanya, sumama sa kanyang tahanan, manahan kasama niya, ay pagtawag sa atin na hayaan ang sarili natin na mapuspos ng presensiya at pag-ibig ng Diyos. Ang pagsunod natin kay Hesus ay magagawa lamang natin sa loob ng kanyang tahanan, sa pananatili sa kanya, sa piling ng kanyang Ama, sa pag-ibig ng Espiritu Santo.

            The invitation is “Come and see the place of God.” God’s House is not just his physical place. Rather, God’s dwelling place it is the intimate life of God himself – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who form a family of love into which we are invited. Following Jesus is the way to enter into that family of love – into that loving relationship of the Father, Son and Spirit.

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