Call of God, Come and See, Community
There is a story of Grandpa and Grandma, who once had a quarrel. The next day Grandpa forgot all about it, but Grandma was still angry and did not talk to him. Nothing that Grandpa did, could bring Grandma out of her sullen silence.
Then Grandpa had an idea, wherever Grandma went, he went behind her and was searching for something. She went to the living room, the kitchen and the bedroom, he followed her and was searching for something. Finally, grandma had enough, She shouted out “What on earth are you looking for?” Grandpa with a glee smile said. “Ah! At last I found your sweet voice.”
Today we heard the beautiful scriptural readings that invite us to reflect on the Call of God. Based on the readings, I would like to reflect on the call of God on these three concepts: Call of God, “Come and See” and Community of Christ.
Call of God
The dramatic call of God comes to young man Samuel while he is unaware of who is calling. After the repeated interventions, the elderly priest Eli recognizes that God is calling the young Samuel. It was in the silence of night, the voice of God, heard, in a constant sound making him aware of God’s presence within the human conscious. In the Gospel we admire John the Baptist, who recognizes God's presence in the person of Jesus saying “Look, here is the Lamb of God” and guides his own disciples to follow Jesus. Let these readings inspire us to be open to listen to God’s call and answer it with those humble words “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” In a similar way both Eli, John the Baptist, and Andrew are for us model Spiritual Directors and Vocation Promoters, teaching us to follow the call of God and also to pray, to guide, and support those who are struggling to answer the call of God in our community.
“Come and See”
As we heard in the story, Jesus also asks those who are following him: “What are you looking for?” The disciples yearning to know more about Jesus before their final commitment, Jesus opens the door to them saying “Come and See.” The invitation of Jesus is personal, open, common and free. It is a personal choice that one makes with full freedom. This invitation as Pope Francis reflects as a call to Holiness that “to be saints is not a privilege of the few. But a vocation for everyone.” (Gaudete et exultate, 2018)
All are welcome to witness life with Jesus. All are called to see for themselves, to experience the divine presence in Jesus. When the disciples followed Jesus and saw his life, they proclaimed the Good news, they invited Peter and others to join them. When we encounter Jesus and experience that divine presence of love, joy and peace, we cannot but transform ourselves and share it with others. When we read and reflect on the scriptures, when we pray and meditate, when we join in our community worship and the celebration of the sacraments, let us become aware of the divine presence. Let us listen to God calling us “come and see” and experience God’s love, God’s peace and let us be transformed to share our joy with everyone in our community.
Community of Christ
When Andrew decided to follow and experience life with Jesus, he then recruited his brother Simon to follow Jesus by saying: “We have found the Messiah.” Looking at Simon, Jesus gives him a new name Cephas or translated Peter. Later we will come to know the plan of Jesus, how he would continue preaching the Gospel by showing him the seed of the beginning of the church community. The Church community was born in following the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. This church community later extended and explained by St. Paul who wrote to the Church of Corinth “everyone is a member of the Body of Christ?” So, we must follow God's call and become a model of faith for others to follow to Jesus. From the first disciples to our present day, the church is blessed with many models of faith, holy men and women “a cloud of witness” so we too can take the courageous step to follow Jesus and find freedom and peace. Pope Saint John Paul II meaningfully shares the Virtues of the Models of Faith in the Church in his Way of the Cross Prayer 12th Station: “From the Cross of Christ, was born the new life of Saul, the conversion of Augustine, joyful poverty of Francis of Assisi, the radiant goodness of Vincent de Paul, heroism of Maximilian Kolbe, amazing charity of Mother Teresa of Calcutta…From the Cross of Christ was born the revolution of love”
Let us pray, listen and follow the call of God to love.
Here I am Lord, I come to do your will, Rekindle in me the fire of your love, to listen to you and to follow, so I may become holy and a living sacrifice in your service, offered to your glory.
Reflections by Rev. Wilson Andrade, CSC