Gospel Reflection for Sunday January 17th 2021
We are called by our name personally by God
Over recent years, we have all gotten so used to emails and Skype and there are very few of us who don’t have a mobile phone. Over the last year we have all figured out how to use Zoom as a way of calling others as we connect and make contact with them. As we all continue to live with some form of local and national social restrictions and distancing, it may not be brilliant, but it is the best we have and it does at least allow us to call, hear and see our friends and families.
The first reading and the gospel today are about God reaching out and calling us by our name through others. God is always trying to contact us and connect with us. In the first reading, young Samuel hears his name being called twice during the night but he is not too sure who is calling him. His friend Eli realises that is in fact God who is calling him. With Eli’s help when God calls Samuel a third time, he has the courage to respond with these powerful words; ‘Here I am since you called me; speak Lord, your servants is listening.’ God spoke to Samuel, called him personally by his name and he responded generously with an open heart.
In the gospel we see John the Baptist introducing two of his own followers to Jesus. We read; ‘As Jesus walked, John looked at him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God.’ Hearing this, the two disciples left him and followed Jesus. John does not draw attention to himself; he points and leads others to Jesus. One of these, Andrew goes with Jesus. John is happy to let him go. Andrew goes with Jesus, travels with him and becomes his disciple. The following morning, Andrews meet Peter and says, ‘We have found the Messiah’ – and he took him to Jesus.’ Having being introduced to Jesus himself, Andrews in turn becomes a missionary disciple and brings others to Jesus. Genuine discipleship multiplies itself.
If we recall our own lives, there were others who nourished and nurtured our faith. We think of our parents, grandparents, teachers, family members and perhaps neighbours. Who taught you to pray and brought to mass as a child? We do not come to Jesus by ourselves. Before we encounter and experience Jesus personally, we have already met many others who have shared their faith with us in one way or another. And now it is our turn; today we are called to introduce others to Jesus whenever, wherever and however we can. We do this through the quality of our daily lives, through how we speak to and treat each other. Often our actions speak louder than our words.
Now more than ever we need to reach out to others as Eli did with Samuel and Andrew did with Peter. In his most recent letter Pope Francis reminds of this when he says to each of us; …‘We need to communicate with others, to discover the gifts of each person, to promote that which unites us.. and to realise that we are part of one another, that we are brothers and sisters of one another.’ (Fratelli Tutti 134, 32)
Today, recall and remember those who have nourished and nurtured you in any way. Who can you support and encourage today?
– Br Michael Moore OMI
|Gospel Sunday January 17th||John 1:35-42 ©|
‘We have found the Messiah’
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