Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Samuel 3:3-10, 19; 1 Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20; John 1:35-42
Saint John Baptist de LaSalle
January 14, 2024
The other night I was watching a movie called: “His Only Son,” the story of Abraham. Like all religious movies when God speaks to people you can hear God so clearly. “Abraham, Abraham,” God says, “this is what I want you to do,” and Abraham says, “Here I am Lord, I will do whatever you ask.”
Have you ever wished that God would speak to you like that, that God would tell you what is expected of you, what God wants you to do? Why can’t God just come out and say it, the way God does in the Scriptures? But take another look at those Scriptures, no single person in the Scriptures is just sitting around waiting for God to speak to them. Instead, all our bible figures are shown as people who are not wondering why God has not spoken to them, instead they just continue to go about doing what they are supposed to do. Just before Samuel is spoken to by God we are told: “During the time young Samuel was minister to the Lord under Eli, the word of the Lord was scarce, and visions were infrequent.”
Yet Samuel is not wondering why God is not speaking to him, why God is seemingly silent, Samuel is just going about doing his duties. And in today’s Gospel, we do not hear about disciples who are worried by God’s silence. Not at all. Andrew and his brother are content to learn what they can from the one person God had already given them, John the Baptist. The voice these disciples hear does not come from heaven, it is John the Baptist who says to them, as Jesus passes by, “Behold the Lamb of God.”
It’s the same way with the young priest Samuel, who is doing nothing more than his job, caring for the old priest, Eli. Andrew and his brother are learning what they can from whomever they can, and none of these men are sitting around waiting for God to speak to them. No, they are doing their duties, the work they have to do, as they understand it. The first words Jesus speaks in John’s Gospel are addressed to Andrew and his brother. These words are not, at least immediately, heard as some kind of revelation or wisdom. No, instead Jesus just asks a simple question, “What are you looking for?” All they can say to Jesus is, “Rabbi, where do you stay, or where do you live?” Jesus reveals himself to his disciples simply by calling them to stay with him, and he uses really simple words, “Come and you will see.”
So, if you feel frustrated by God’s silence in your life, if you don’t feel that you can hear God, then while you wait, you need continue to do what God is expecting you to do. The mistake we make is in thinking that God is not attentive to our situation, that God is not watching, that God is not showing God’s presence in our life. God is already speaking to you in your situation, in the duties you have been given to perform in life, in the very place that you are living, the place where you dwell. Look again at your daily life, and do not overlook what you are doing on your iPhone, Computer or iPad.
Think about the people that are a part of your life right now. Where have you been living these past few weeks? How have you spent your time? Whatever you have been doing in your life has happened because of your involvement. All the things we do is because of what we desire in life, and it is our deep desires, as hard as they are to understand, that God reveals himself to us, that God speaks to us. What does Jesus say to his first disciples, “What are you looking for?” Today Jesus is asking the same question to us, “What are you looking for?”
Whether we know it or not, we live in our desires, in our hopes and dreams. We may hide or conceal our desires from others, as best we can, but it is our desires that lead us to life or death. The question is whether or not our desires lead us to the Lord. If not, then our desires are already consuming us, eating away at our life, destroying what we thought was determining our desires. If we already dwell with the Lord, or if we can only give our desires to God, God will continue to lead us on. Trust in that. For longing is of God. Longing is an experience of God. Learn to live with that longing.