Homily for January 18, 2015: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: Msgr. Jim Miller

Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

January 18, 2015

Reading 1 1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19

Responsorial Psalm Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10

R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

Reading 2 1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20

Gospel Jn 1:35-42


Samuel’s mother was Hannah.   She was childless for many years and promised God that if she had a child that the child would be dedicated to God.   When the child was old enough she put him in the care of the priest, Eli, where Samuel served in the temple. 

I love to hear about Samuel waking up after hearing someone call him and thinking it is Eli, he then wakes up Eli.   After the third wakeup call Eli realizes that God must be calling out to Samuel so he says “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”  I am not sure I would be able to go to sleep if I thought God was calling me but on the other hand I know God would know how to wake me up!  Don’t you wonder what the Lord wanted to say to Samuel?  I like the line that says “Samuel grew up and the Lord was with him.”  I believe the Lord is with me and with you in a special way since our baptism.

How do relationships begin?  There must be some attentiveness to one’s setting to even start a relationship.  As a boy, dedicated to the Temple in Bethel, Samuel heard the voice of God, but he could not identify it.  He thought it was the voice of Eli.   He did not know the Lord.   Samuel needed an introduction to God and Eli, already a friend of God, helped him with the introduction “speak Lord for your servant is listening”.

In the gospel John was standing with two of his disciples when Jesus walked by.   He said “Behold the Lamb of God” and the two disciples left John to follow Jesus.  We have the simple conversation with Jesus saying “What are you looking for?”  They reply Rabbi (indicating their desire to learn from him), where are you staying?   Jesus says, “Come, and you will see.”  After the introduction by John they follow Jesus.   They listen to him.   They spend time with him.  It is time together that creates friendships.  After getting to know Jesus, Andrew, one of the two disciples of John, returned to tell his brother Simon that they had “found the Messiah”.   Andrew had to share this discovery with his brother and brought him to Jesus.   Jesus had intimate knowledge of Simon so based on his knowledge of who Simon was he gave the name Cephas or rock.  Nicknames speak of the love and intimacy that is at the heart of friendship though maybe not always is it a nickname that we like!

Only after they spent three years with him could Jesus answer more fully.  At the Last Supper, reminding them that following him is a matter of the heart and soul as much as the feet, ears and eyes, he said, “Abide in my love…just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15;9-10)

If you want to grow in your friendship with the Lord and others you will need attentiveness, openness, time and knowledge of each other to create and sustain friendships.  

Life is full of distractions and challenges that can keep us from focusing on our relationship with God.   It is easy to spend a couple of hours going to a movie or watching a sports event or a TV special.   Some people take long weekends to get away or to shop or relax.   Be aware of the opportunities you have to deepen your relationship with God.   Maybe you commit to a Christian Experience Weekend, a day of reflection, a retreat at Shalom or American Martyrs Retreat House, a life in the Spirit Seminar or (for the Ladies) you attend the Martha and Mary Conference in February.  

Jesus invited Andrew and the other disciple to be with him as he invites us too.  We are all in a lifetime process that involves  developing within us a new heart, a new way of seeing and new way of relating to the world around us.

Be attentive to the Lord in your life.  Be open to God’s will for you.  Spend time with the Lord to know him better.  God only wants our happiness.   Jesus help me to trust you more.