Four-year-old Freddy burst into the kitchen, “Mimi, come and see! Come and see!” I was up to my elbows in dishes, but his eyes were bright with excitement. As I reached for the towel, he grabbed my hand and pulled me into the living room.
Strewn across the room was the largest assembly of sheets, blankets, and pillows—the biggest mess—I had ever seen. “Wow, Freddy! What a great fort! Way to go!” I feigned enthusiasm as I was really thinking, “Thanks guys [his four uncles were contributing architects] for using every clean sheet in the house and every blanket from every bed.” Not only that, but every piece of furniture had been moved. Though I forced a smile, I was assessing the amount of work needed to get things back to normal.
After another, “Good job, Freddy.” I attempted to return to the kitchen. Freddy insisted, “No Mimi. Come and see. Come inside.” Not wanting to disappoint, I consented. I crawled into the fort and followed Freddy’s lead. I was amazed. With engineering help, Freddy had constructed an entire world with intricate paths, angled rooms, and irregular terrain. “Come and see” was Freddy’s invitation to come into his world, to see life through his eyes, and to join in his adventure.
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus bids his new disciples, “Come and you will see.” He invites them into His world, His life, and His ministry. The problem with Jesus’ invitation is that life gets messy. He rearranges values, leads through narrow, dark, uncomfortable paths, and challenges disciples to venture into uncharted territory. He disrupts everything, with no promise of getting things “back to normal.”
Each and every morning, Jesus whispers, “Come and see!” Come and know me more deeply in the Scriptures. Come and listen to me in the silence. Come and receive me in the Eucharist. Come and see me in the poor. As parents/grandparents, we name grace—God’s inviting presence—each time we extend an invitation to our children, neighbor, and strangers to “come and see” God working in our daily lives. Come and see Jesus each time we feed a hungry baby, play with the rambunctious toddler, listen to a concerned spouse, care for an elderly parent, visit a sick neighbor, take meals to a lonely man, serve at a domestic abuse shelter, or become involved with a refugee family. Come and see! Come and see!
We can choose to live the Christian faith from afar—standing safely outside of Jesus’ world. We can choose to live a mediocre Christian life by accepting the status quo and therefore delaying the kingdom of God. Or we can choose to follow Jesus into His world, where the meek rule, the poor are blessed, the weak are strong, the least are the greatest, and the last are the first. His world demands we love our enemies, forgive those who harm us, and work for justice.
Jesus’ invitation is daring, but crawling on bended knee through the Lord’s maze leads to grace—the place where love conquers fear, hope overcomes despair, and life defeats even death. His call is not to child’s play, but the summons to life’s great adventure. May we have the strength to respond, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Now, that’s good news!
How will you help your children to “come and see” Jesus?
How will you be more intentional in listening to the Lord?
As printed in The Witness, a publication of the Archdiocese of Dubuque.
The blog on this page presents reflections on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding leaders of the domestic church in their vital task as “first heralds” or “first preachers” of the Good News in the home.