"What are you looking for?" In the Gospel according to John, these are the first words out of Jesus' mouth! In response, the two disciples of John the Baptist, ask another question: "Rabbi, where are you staying?" Next follows the invitation to "Come and see."
November marks the closing days of the year and the Church asks us to consider a question quite similar to the one asked by Jesus. As our northern hemisphere moves into lengthening darkness, we are preparing for the turn that will eventually bring us into lengthening light. November starts us off considering the question posed to everyone, without exception, "What does your death mean for you?"
November starts us off celebrating the Feast of All Saints and All Souls and it ends with the beginning of Advent. It's about endings and beginnings; endings and beginnings. So, when we come to the end of something, Jesus' question applies: "What WERE you looking for?" As we begin, again, Jesus' question applies: "What are you looking for?" The fact of our own death is not a grim reminder; the "wet blanket" on the party of life. It is there to help make us real.
For the disciples of Jesus, death is never the "Grim Reaper". It is, in the words of Saint Franics, "our Sister Death." She comes to remind us of not only how precious and fleeting are our days on earth, but that death is our transition into fuller life.
November poses some more questions and I'd like to follow up with some of those later. For now, why not think about Jesus' first question: "What are you looking for?" Fr. Carl