WHAT ABOUT YOU, WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I have no doubt that all the people who have become faithful followers of Jesus Christ feel attracted to Him because of His sacrifice, His voice, His call to be with Him, a partake of His love and peace. I say this based on my personal experience because I have witnessed this happening many times.
In the Gospel of John, the beloved disciple, we read this “the next day John was there again 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.” (John 1:35-39)
Notice two major points in this passage. First, the two young disciples of John the Baptist heard who Jesus was, The Lamb of God. Second, they immediately followed Jesus, leaving the preacher, John the Baptist. Jesus turned to see them face to face and asked, what do you want?
It is interesting to acknowledge that once we know who Jesus is and feel attracted to Him, the flame of true Love ignites, and we are affectionately asked by Jesus, what do you want? We all seek something that will make us happy, fulfilled, but many times we follow the wrong path. Those who do not know Jesus, will be continuously in His search until they personally meet up with Him to answer that question. It is Jesus who invites us to know where He lives and expresses His desire for us to remain by His side, where He dwells. Sooner or later, each of us will have to answer the Lord’s question, what do you want? And look for the true answer in our hearts.
This month, the Church will celebrate a great saint Francis of Assisi, embodying one of the finest manifestations of Christian spirituality. Francis was the son of a rich merchant who, as a result of a health crisis became uneasy in the kind of life he led and felt a strong spiritual calling. In the ruins of San Damian, an abandoned church, Francis heard a voice standing before the image of Christ that he found there. In the silence of his contemplative prayer, a voice told him, go, Francis, fix my church; you can see that it is in ruins.
Young Francis did not hesitate; he had answered Jesus’s question, what do you want. He ran to his father’s house, took a few rolls of expensive fabric and sold it. He gave the proceeds of the sale to the priest of Saint Damian for the restoration of the church. Such was the calling for this great saint of our Church, who at age 25, for the love of God, relinquished all his rich-man garments and worldly goods and chose to live in poverty, doing good deeds benefiting namely the poor and lepers, and to live in isolation and prayer. Saint Francis of Assisi preached poverty as a value and proposed a simple way of life based on evangelical ideals, staying close to Jesus.
The Holy Father touched upon the topic I am referring to, in his weekly Audience. The Pope explained that in order to discover your vocation, you must think about your first encounters with Jesus, for all vocations, whether marriage, consecrated life, priesthood, all begin with a meeting with Him, which produces an immense Joy and new Hope that answers Jesus’ question, what are you looking for? Pope Francis added, this first encounter with Jesus leads us through the trials and difficulties [of life] to an encounter that is always full of Him and the peak of Joy.”
Pope Francis asks you, can you imagine young people being truly satisfied without asking meaningful questions? The young that do not search are not young but actually retired; the young that got old before their time. It is sad to see retired young people! Through the Gospel, in all His encounters, Jesus is depicted as a Heart on fire. Therefore, the single question that makes the desire for life livable and happiness that will emerge in every young person is, what do you want?
To the Pope’s point, the encounter of Jesus with John and Andrew was so intense, that they immediately became missionaries; they did not go back home quietly, but they passed on their joy to their brothers Simon and James by saying, we have found the Messiah! In other words, they found what they wanted and went for it; getting Simon and James to follow them too, evangelical zeal. Such an encounter was so profound and produced so much joy that they never forgot that blessed day when Jesus enlightened and directed their young lives; they became fulfilled in their purpose and stayed close to Him.
The fundamental dynamics of a Christian life is to have Jesus Christ always present; think of Him at all times. Saint Paul said to his disciple, remember Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:8). We must have Jesus in mind all the time and the Love of Christ, which at some point we conceived in our lives as a project for good that rekindled the flame of our hope, will be the answer to what do you want.
I would love for you to say with me the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi everyday:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring love. Where there is offense, let me bring pardon. Where there is discord, let me bring union. Where there is error, let me bring truth. Where there is doubt, let me bring faith. Where there is despair, let me bring hope. Where there is darkness, let me bring your light. Where there is sadness, let me bring joy. Oh, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
I want to thank you for your continued generosity, for your kind and faithful support is what enables us to continue to sow the seed of Love and Hope that yields abundant fruit and is changing so many hearts in need of God’s Love and Comfort enabling them to answer the question, what do you want their life to be. I know what my answer is and want to invite you to join our next ESNE’s awareness campaign United in Mission from October 25 to November 8; united with the same generosity and joy so that together we have the resources needed to renovate the roofing of our facilities in Chatsworth, CA. Numerous leaks have appeared during the recent rains, jeopardizing our technical equipment and the efficient transmission of the programming that you make possible to the entire world.
Let us join together in prayer and affection for all the young people experiencing the 2023 CDJ on September 30 and October 1. CDJ is an event designed by Catholic young people for young people seeking a conversion encounter in the Love of God and Mary Most Holy so they too are equipped to answer Jesus’ question, what do you want.
I also extend a cordial greeting and congratulations to the listeners of our radio station, 1460AM LOS ANGELES, which is celebrating another year of being part of ESNE this month; 8 years of continuous transmission to the largest concentration of Spanish speakers in America. Congratulations!
I greet all the consecrated from the I Am 73 Project and encourage you to persevere in the answers you have found. This discipleship is continuously growing and bringing abundant blessings upon those who say YES to God and give an answer to Jesus’ question, what do you want. I encourage you to attract more souls to this project; invite you relatives and friends that may benefit enormously from being part of the I Am 73 Project. Should you need more guidance or information about the I Am 73 Project, please dial (818) 912-5842 send an e-mail to: email@example.com
Sincerely in the Love of Jesus Christ and Our Lady of Guadalupe, I pray for the Holy Spirit to cover you and your family and lead you to answer Jesus’ question.