1 Sam 3:3b-10, 19; Ps 40:2,4, 7-10; 1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20; John 1:35-42
Each Church year we “re-live” the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, our savior. We celebrated his birthday three weeks ago and last week his baptism at thirty years old. St. John the Baptist pointed out Jesus as the promised Messiah and Lamb of God. Again in John’s gospel today Jesus was pointed out by the Baptist. That day John’s two disciples, Andrew and the other un-named disciple we believe was John, left the Baptist to follow Jesus. Andrew went to get his brother Simon. Jesus changed Simon’s name to Cephas, Peter.
In the first reading today we had the story of Samuel, a young student of Eli. Samuel was not familiar with the ways of God. When God called his name twice during the night when he was asleep in the temple, he got up and went to Eli, “You called me?” Eli said “ No, I did not call you. Go back to sleep.” After the third time Eli realized God was calling the lad and told him to “Go back to sleep and if you are called, reply, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’” Samuel grew up and the Lord stayed with him teaching and using him in a mighty way to bring the Jewish people back to God.
When our lives began at conception God placed a longing within us for a personal relationship with him. Through our lives God also calls us amidst all the clatter and noise of our world. Will we respond to that inner longing, that real meaning in life? Will we respond “Speak Lord, for I am listening and I want a personal relationship with you,” like Samuel and the early disciples of Jesus?
Matthew Kelly, the leader of a young Catholic evangelism team, has found some amazing statistics about Catholics who have responded to God’s call in their lives. He calls them dynamic Catholics who compose about 7% of their parishes, some 15,000 across the US. They know Jesus personally and have a daily prayer life. They weekly learn more about their faith by reading, especially the gospel stories. They are generous with their finances and lead others to find the love and joy of Jesus.
Now if we can get others excited about faith in Jesus, we can increase that 7% to 8 or hopefully much more in a short time. The more excited we are about how much Jesus loves us, the greater our conviction about influencing others. We influence others by the way we allow Jesus’ love to flow out of us each day to be a blessing to them. Many will be attracted by our joy in knowing Jesus. Good disciples are a joy to live with and learn from. Jesus fills us with the power to do these things.
Pray with St. Francis
Will you answer the call and become a member of this great Jesus movement? We can make a difference and help Jesus change the world for good. St. Francis of Assisi had this little prayer.
“Most high and glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my mind. Instill in me a correct faith, a certain hope, perfect love and profound humility, with wisdom and understanding to truly carry out Your holy will.” I ask in Jesus’ Name.
Have a wonderful week filled with the joy of being loved.
Blessings, + Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2015 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)