The Gospel adventure of Andrew and John began with three simple words: Come and see! As devout Jews, they had recited Psalm 66 often enough to be familiar with the inspired author's invitation to look over, so to speak, the history of God's mighty deeds for His Chosen People. But when the young Rabbi from Nazareth answered their shy query, Teacher, where do you stay? with Come and see, they were admitted into a deeper, more direct experience of God's tremendous deeds among men.

Come and see, the angel said to the women who came to the tomb early in the morning on the first day of the week. The women thought they were going there to complete the ancient burial rite,: for their revered Master Tnstead the angelic Come and see sent them running as witnesses to the new life of the Resurrection.

The step by step unfolding of Francis of Assisi's conversion to Christ was, in a sense, a great Come and see experience. And it did not end with the merchant son's profession of radical Gospel poverty. As his way of life became known, more and more people responded to God's invitation to Come and see what He was doing in and through the Poor Man of Assisi. The wealthy Bernard, the peasant Giles, the canon Sylvester came, saw, and stayed, forming the nucleus of what is now one of the largest religious families in the Church.

For the psalmist, for the Apostles and the holy women, for Francis and his first followers, the Lord's simple summons, Come and see, opened out into a lifetime of service and sacrifice, praise and prayer, witness and joy. Come and see invited them to look deeply into salvation history, to remember not only that His eyes keep watch over the nations but also that, even in the midst of trials and tribulations, God is the One who gives life to our souls and keeps our feet from stumbling.

To every searching heart, our Lord still says, Come and see. It takes courage to make that leap into the unknown realm of faith where God lives and works. There we begin to see the world, history, other people and even ourselves from a totally different perspective, through His eyes.

Wonderful things happen when we come and see that God is at work everywhere and in everything. The realities of which the psalmist sang become part of our life's history, too. We find freedom and joy, grace and gladness. We become people of praise who, like St. Francis, can call upon creation to: Cry out with joy to God! Sing to the glory of His Name! Render Him glorious praise! And in every event, we can in truthsay to God: "How tremendous Your deeds!"



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Psalm 66

Cry out with joy to God;
all the earth,
0 sing to the glory
of His Name.
0 render Him glorious praise.
Say to God
"How tremendous Your deeds!
Because of the greatness
of Your strength
Tour enemies cringe before You.
Before You all the earth shall bow,
shall sing to You,
sing to Your Name!"
Come and see the works of God
tremendous His deeds among men.
He turned the sea into dry land,
they passed through the river dry-shod.
Let our joy then be in Him;
He rules forever by His might.
His eyes keep watch over the nations:
let rebels not rise against Him.
0 peoples, bless our God,
let the voice of his praise resound,
of the God who gave life to our souls
and kept our feet from stumbling.
For You, 0 God have tested us,
You have tried us as silver is tried:
You led us, God into the snare;
You laid a heavy burden on our backs.
You let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire
and through water
but then You brought us relief.

Come and See!
PART 18