Fr Paul Gooley reads from the Gospel of John (1: 43-51) in which word about Jesus spreads and Philip, who has decided to follow him, invites Nathanael to do the same. Fr Paul says this third reading ends Jesus’ gathering of the first group of disciples. Why is it placed here, just at the beginning of the year? It seems that they are preparing for the apostolate, giving different impressions of the community, which will carry the word about Jesus out to the world. These three readings are followed by the Baptism of Jesus, by the wonder of the wine at Cana, by the feeding of the new People of God and by Jesus’ initial proclamation according to Luke, made in the synagogue at Nazareth, declaring that he will carry the Good News of the Spirit to the gentiles. All these suggest the formation of the community of disciples, the preparation for their mission. As such, they suggest an orientation of any Christian for the year which is beginning. Three moments are particularly significant in today’s Gospel reading. Firstly, Philip uses the same phrase as Jesus when he invited the first pair of disciples, ‘Come and see’. This, again, stresses the vital pre-requisite: we must be with Jesus and get to know and love him more and more. Secondly, the heightening of the confession of Jesus. Philip speaks of Jesus as the Messiah foretold by the prophets, but then Nathanael raises this to ‘Rabbi, you are Son of God’; this is a full confession, which in the synoptic Gospels is made by no human being until the centurion at the foot of the Cross. Thirdly, when Jesus comes to speak, the sky’s the limit, and by his evocation of Jacob’s Ladder he foretells the constant flow of communication with heaven by means of the Spirit. This will be the heart of the Church.