“Come and see”. This is such an important phrase in Jesus’ ministry. St John’s Gospel opens (more or less) with Jesus inviting John the Baptist’s disciples: “Come, and you will see“.
Andrew is one of these disciples and he returns with excitement to invite his brother, Simon, to meet the Messiah. A mere three verses later, Jesus gives Simon the name Cephas and the seed of the universal church is planted.
The next day, Jesus invites Philip; Philip invites Nathaniel, and Nathaniel makes the great declaration that Jesus is the Son of God and the King of Israel. Within two days and twelve Bible verses, the stage is firmly set for the most profound event to ever take place in the history of creation. Never underestimate the power of a personal invitation.
Come. See. Evangelisation distilled to two verbs.
Why are these verbs so effective? Firstly, they are used in the imperative form. The word ‘imperative’ means pressing, or of vital importance. An imperative verb creates a phrase that gives an order or command, leaving no room for questions or discussion. In the absence of a full sentence, the imperative quickly gets to the point.
Secondly, the verbs in combination create a compelling and immediate promise. They say, you must leave what you are doing right now and discover something that will totally open your eyes. It is this compulsion that transforms Peter from a mere fisherman to a fisher of men; Zacchaeus from a lonely miser to a bountiful son of Abraham; Paul from a killer of Christians to an apostle of Christ. To obey the command, “Come and see” is to receive the promise of comprehension and conversion and, ultimately, personal salvation.
Many of us struggle with anxieties and insecurities that prevent us from approaching others to find fraternity. For Catholic men’s groups to have real meaning and purpose, they must follow the example of Christ and reach out, saying Come and see! See what it means to be welcomed, to be understood, to be part of something bigger than oneself, to experience fraternity, moral support and shared faith. Come and see what it means to be a Catholic man, an authentic man, a beloved brother of Christ and son of God.