1 John 3:11-21
In today’s Gospel, Philip, full of the enthusiasm at discovering Jesus, rushes to tell his friend Nathaniel what he has found. Nathaniel is quite contemptuous, however. There was nothing in the Old Testament that foretold that God’s Chosen One should come from Nazareth. Philip wisely does not argue with him, but simply says, “Come and see.” You see, not many people have been convinced into the Christian faith by being argued into it. The only way they can be convinced is by having a personal encounter with Jesus.
There is a story that goes that Aldous Huxley, the great agnostic, was attending a party at a country house over a few days. When Sunday came round, most members prepared to go to church, but naturally, Huxley did not propose to go. Instead he approached a fellow there who was known to have a simple and radiant Christian faith. Huxley said to him, “Suppose you don’t go to church today and instead stay and tell me simply what your Christian faith means to you and why you are a Christian.” The man replied, “I’m not clever enough to argue with you.” Huxley said, “I don’t want to argue with you; I just want you to tell me simply what Christ means to you.” So the man stayed and told Huxley of his simple faith. When he finished there were tears in the great agnostic’s eyes. “I would give my right hand,” he said, “if only I could believe that.”
Fr. Ray Sanchez CP is the leader of the Oxley community and responsible for Parish Missions and Retreats throughout Australia and NZ.