“Come and see”. 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 into 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. Without a full sentence, the imperative quickly gets to the point.
Secondly, the verbs in combination create a compelling and immediate promise of something momentous. They say, you must leave what you are doing right now and discover something so extraordinary it will totally open your eyes. You will never see things in the same way again! It is the 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. Always a 180° turnaround followed by enlightened comprehension – and, lest we forget, personal salvation.
All for one Man. Come and see. His hand reaches out to raise us up from the dust. Come and see. His hand draws us into the wedding feast and up to the altar, to the tabernacle. Come and see. It is a personal and loving request from the Bridegroom Himself.
For Catholic men’s groups to have real meaning and purpose, they must follow the example of Christ and reach out to all on the periphery, saying Come and see! See what it means to be welcomed, to be accepted as you are, 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 son of God.