As he baptized multitudes with water in the historic Jordan River, John the Baptist fulfilled his role as the new Elijah who announces the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ Son of God. Moving toward the celebration of Epiphany (“to manifest, disclose, discover, conspicuous“) on which the Magi worship the Christ Child, John the Baptist’s role in introducing Jesus’ inner core of disciples to Jesus is recalled.

Continuing to be awed by Christ after seeing the Holy Spirit descend on Him at the Baptism, John the Baptist sees Jesus and spontaneously calls Him the “Lamb of God” (a mysterious title that recalls the sacrificial lamb at the Passover).  Andrew and John the Evangelist (likely), disciples of the Baptist who hear the mysterious title but cannot fathom what it means, follow Christ. Unaware that He is the Son of God, the two men honor Christ, calling Him “Rabbi” and Christ invites them to “come and see.”  It is late afternoon (10th hour by Jewish reckoning is 4 pm) and Andrew and John spent the evening with Christ at His camp in the wilderness near the Jordan.

Having spent a single evening with Christ, Andrew is convinced that Jesus is the Messiah and tells his brother Simon. Christ, aware of Simon and mysteriously able to discern Simon’s heart and competency, immediately designates Simon’s importance in Salvation History by renaming him Peter (Greek for “Rock”); elsewhere (Matt 16:18), Jesus explains that Peter, the rock, will be the foundation of the Catholic Church. Christ’s act is both divine and prophetic; the Old Covenant was built on men God renamed (Abram becomes Abraham, Jacob becomes Israel) and Peter will become the foundation rock of the New Covenant.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ has an immediate life-changing impact on the Apostles. Divine King, Christ selects, attracts and converts men to build His Church; He designates Peter to be the leader.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Those who encounter Christ with open hearts are forever changed. Marvel at how John the Baptist, Andrew, John the Evangelist and Peter’s lives dramatically change after a short encounter with Christ.

2) Many Catholic men struggle, unconvinced about the truth of Christ because they have not yet truly encountered Him; men with receptive hearts cannot be unmoved when they meet Christ. Pray for Christ to give you the grace to hunger for Him and to get to know Him better through disciplined Scripture study.

3) For many men, Catholicism not integral to their lives; “Catholicism” is something they do on some Sundays and Holy Days. As Christ had a distinct purpose for Peter, He has created you on purpose, for a purpose. Pray for Christ to reveal His purpose for you and for the graces to carry out your mission in service to Him.