Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (January 14, 2018)

Today’s Scripture readings offer us an opportunity to reflect on discipleship.

St. John recounts the first encounter between two of John the Baptist’s disciples and Jesus. Their dialogue is very instructive.

Jesus asks them: “What are you looking for?” They respond: “Teacher, where are you staying?” And Jesus invites them: “Come, and you will see.”

What they experience as they spend the day with Jesus causes Andrew to go to his brother Peter and tell him: “We have found the Messiah.”

Spending the day with Jesus enables them to experience who Jesus is. The experience of Jesus is vital for the disciple, and we can only have that experience if we are willing to spend time with Jesus. Jesus tells each of us: “Come, and you will see.”

Making time to be with Jesus in prayer, especially with the Scriptures, is vital for a fruitful discipleship. St. Francis de Sales encourages us to take a Gospel passage and allow ourselves to become part of what’s happening in that passage. Put yourself in the place of one of the characters and see and listen to Jesus. In this way, we can allow ourselves to encounter Jesus in a real way.

Today’s first reading offers us the attitude needed by a disciple. We heard a young Samuel experiencing a call. The priest Eli tells him to respond: “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” That is the attitude we need as disciples.

When we approach the Lord in prayer, these are the first words we need to utter: “Your servant is listening.” They remind us that we want to be open to whatever the Lord may want to tell us. The good news we share in ministry is God’s good news, not ours. We are messengers; God gives us the message.

As we consider the demands of social justice today, may we always be conscious of our need to take the time often to encounter Jesus and listen to him. May our attitude always be attentive: “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” May the Lord continue to bless our efforts to be his peace and justice for our brothers and sisters.