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RELIGION LITURGY AND LIFE

2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

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This weekend we celebrate the second Sunday of ordinary Time and in the Gospel Reading we see that Jesus is asking his followers including you and me who do you say I am? In the first Reading it took Eli to tell Samuel to answer the call from God after he thought it was Eli and the reading tells us that ’ Samuel answered, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’ How many of us are listening to the word of God and not hearing it even though we may be listening? The two searchers in the Gospel ask Jesus, “Where are you staying?” When Jesus responds to the Baptist’s disciples, “Come and you will see,” he is not speaking of the house where he lives. He is inviting them and us in our present time to come to experience him on a deeper level to discover where he is and that is to follow him and  finding where he is staying is really about  a life with God in it. All of us remember special moments by recalling the date and the time they happen. John tells us, “It was about four in the afternoon,” when the disciples received their invitation from Jesus. I wonder how many times Andrew and John repeated the story of their first encounter with Christ and concluded their witness with, “It was about four in the afternoon”?

We don’t need to know the time of the day the call happened. But for Andrew and John that moment was very important because it began the journey that would forever change their lives. By giving us the time they were invited to go and stay with Jesus and so the gospel is underlining the importance of that moment for the disciples. The evangelist also seems to be suggesting the importance of the call they and each of us in our turn has received. It may not have been at a particular moment but, even if we experienced the call spread out over our lifetime, the invitation is to go with Christ and “stay” with him has been, or should be, life-altering for each and every one of us and for many people this has been the case as they take up the call of their own vocations in life and those vocations are varied and many. When we reflect on the beginnings of our own faith in Christ and of our own particular relationship with him, we remember the people who introduced us to Jesus. Most of us can think of a particular person, our mother or father etc who enabled us to begin our faith journey. As Christians that is people who are called to be Christ Like we all come to him by way of generations of Christians who have shared their experience of Jesus. In their turn they were introduced to him by others and through time they have introduced other people  to Christ and in time we will do just that. The story of Christianity, is  a story of a great chain of witnesses linked through the ages from Jesus himself and the apostles at the beginning right up until ourselves here and now in 2015. We too are witnesses and are called to tell others by the spoken word and by the things that we say and do.

This Sunday’s Gospel and readings invite us to remember that our personal vocation is founded on God’s original and absolutely free choice.  This means that we are totally free to accept or deny the invitation he gives to us to take up is his call for our lives.  A call that might lead us to be a priest or religious a call that may lead us to be a father or mother or whatever there are so many vocations in life and many of them are not vocations of the religious sort. Let us ask the Lord, that we will be able to see and  receive Christ as the  as the way the truth and the light as we follow our vocation in life wherever the calling will lead us.

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