Come and See -Matthew 1:46
There is a certain simplicity in the Gospels that for so many of us it is so very easy to miss. “Come and see.” These words of SS from today’s feast are some of the most important in the Bible! It contains the wisdom of the Gospels.
There is an important invitation: “come”. About one fifth on Gospels are accounts of simple people coming to Jesus for healing. They probably had little theology as to the nature of Christ, but they knew something we fail to appreciate. Jesus could make them well again! “And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them,” Mt 15:30
Among the first words of Jesus in John’s Gospel are: “Come and you will see.” In today’s Gospel Bartholomew heard these same words from Andrew “come and see”. Among the first words of Jesus to all the Apostles were “come follow Me”. Jesus invites us with the greatest invitation we will ever receive. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest. Mt 11:28
The words “who labor” don’t seem to be the best translation. The work in Greek is kopiao which means to be beat up or hit with a blow. We find ourselves after a difficult day saying I’m beat. Jesus invites us to Himself when we feel we are down with the count. Discouragement is an invitation to come to Jesus just as the “the beaten, the overburdened, the lame, the blind, the crippled” did in the Gospels. It reminds one of the words of Jesus: “apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
I remember as a young struggling high school student seeing a Burma Shave sign from John 6:37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” I thought then, and still do today at 82 that it is one of the most encouraging texts in the Scriptures! I love the words of St Peter Julian Eymard who simply and deeply reflects the Scriptures: “go directly to Jesus without too much fuss.” The final words of the New Testament is the beautiful petition: “come Lord Jesus”. Revelation 22:20
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.