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2nd S.Ordinary, Jan.16,2000

1Sm.3:3-10; Jn.1:35-42


St.Augustine in his Confessions speaks of the some of the most agonizing moments in his life when he felt very restless and heart-broken not knowing where to turn for strength and comfort. He cries out “How long, how long Lord, wilt Thou be angry with me”. All of a sudden he hears this voice: “ Take up and read: Take up and read.” He took the Bible and read it and Augustine says: “All of a sudden, a light pervaded my soul and all the darkness of doubt vanished away.”

All the readings in today’s Scriptures describe to us the changes that happened in the lives of the prophets of the past because of the call they have received from God. In the first reading, we find Samuel, hearing the voice of God calling him to a special vocation, to be a prophet. He hears the voice and runs to his prophet-master, saying,”Here I am”. But later, he realizes that it was not the prophet who called him, but it was God who was calling him. He responds to God: “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

In our own lives, we have to learn to respond to God with the same attitude that was shown by the young prophet Samuel: “ Here I am Lord, speak to me, I am listening.” Even in the darkest moments and the most tragic events of our lives, God is speaking to us. We have to listen to Him with a heart full of faith, willing to follow the ways he leads us on.

All of us pass through very trying moments at different times in our lives: Loss of jobs, break-up of the family, indifference or hostility from loved ones or colleagues, shattering of dreams and aspirations, loss of beloved ones. Life brings all kinds of arrows and slings of misfortune. But through them all, the Father who loves us with an infinite love is sending us a message. Instead of rebelling and running away from Him, let us listen to him. May be he is asking us to change the direction in our lives, or to forgive or to accept the limitations. But peace and joy will be the result of our trust and dependence.

That is why in today’s Gospel, Jesus invites the disciples of John the Baptist to stay with Him and to experience the life lived by him by asking them: Come and see.” They came out of curiosity to find whether the new prophet is better or holier than their master, John the Baptist. But their stay with Jesus changed them dramatically and they are no more spectators on the sidelines or curious on lookers but have become active participants in the drama of redemption, the most admired disciples of Jesus, the apostles to the world, and the founders of the People of God. Because they came and saw, St.John the Apostle could write: “ What we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked upon and our hands have touched- we proclaim to you.”

Today Jesus addresses us with the same words that he spoke to the Apostles: Come and See.” Sometimes, it will be difficult for us when we are caught in the maelstrom of our problems and difficulties to focus our eyes on Jesus. Our hearts may be troubled with several nagging doubts and questions: could Jesus give me peace, Can he remove these problems from my life, will it be possible for me to ride out this storm in my personal life? How about my job? How about my family? Who can end this hostility that I experience in my work place? Hundreds are the questions that pop in our minds. That is why Jesus asks us today “ Come and See… Live with me.” Along with the prophet Samuel, we shall respond: “ Here I am Lord, Speak to me.” We shall pray to the Lord with the following words: “Lord, Be our companion on the road of life. Do not go ahead of us, we may not follow. Do not follow us, we may not lead; just walk beside us and be our friend.”

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