John 1:43-51 NRSVue

43The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

Some thoughts on this scripture

When you settle down to pray, don’t rush into it! St Ignatius suggests that I ask ‘How does God see me?’ We get answers here about the way Jesus sees people. He has been searching for Philip because he wants him as a friend, a companion, a disciple. When he finds him he has something very important to say to him: ‘Follow me’. If Philip had been elsewhere, or rushing to get something done, he’d have missed the moment that would change his life. Jesus sees too the good qualities of Nathaniel, and likewise of me!

When I come to pray, perhaps I think of myself as searching for God, but in fact God has been searching for me and is delighted when I slow down to encounter him. Pope Francis says: ‘ I invite all Christians to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus: do this unfailingly every day’ (The Joy of the Gospel). This would make a good New Year resolution!