In my work as a freelance writer, I have a regular column in the archdiocesan paper writing profiles of ordinary people in the local church. Laity, religious, and clergy alike — I hound them all to give me an interview, and when I do, the answer is almost always this: “You don’t want to talk to me. There’s nothing special about me.” I always try to convince them that there is something remarkable about everyone who is searching for the truth. It is easy to think we are not made for holiness because we are ordinary people with ordinary habits, ordinary abilities, and ordinary sins. It is easy (and very convenient) to designate holiness as something belonging to Better People. People like the saints. People like the Disciples. The Bible gives us next to no personal information about the disciples. There is no archdiocesan newspaper profile on Andrew and Simon that can give us insight into who they were before they became St. Andrew, Inaugural Disciple and Announcer of the Messiah, and St. Peter, First Pope and the Rock-Upon-Which-Christ-Built-His-Church. Yet I find myself insatiably curious about it. What was their childhood like? What games did they play with each other as the sun set, before their mother called them into bed? What did they think of as they fell asleep at night? What secret jokes did they share to make each other laugh? What were they afraid of? What did they hope for? Who did they want to be? Before they were towering figures of salvation history, Simon and Andrew were just two men searching for the truth. When they looked at Christ, there was something that made it click. Perhaps they themselves could not identify what it was, but their hearts whispered it nonetheless: There it is. We finally found it. Isn’t that the best we can all hope for?
“Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’” — John 1:38 ©LPi