Reflection for Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

The disciples asked Jesus, “where are you staying?” He answered, ” come and see.”  Where did Jesus live, where did he take those who were to become disciples? He took them to the same place Eli sent  Samuel. He drew them inside themselves to that place where God speaks.
       Thomas Kelly in his Testament of Devotion says, ” The deepest human need is not food, clothing, and shelter, important as there are. It is God.” We know that Jesus ministered to the ” deepest human need.” When he healed the sick, comforted the widow who grieved, forgave the tax collector, and took the side of the woman caught in adultery, he touched their deepest needs. The actions of Jesus led others to God. Jesus saws able to lead others to God because of his own intimate union with his father. Jesus takes the disciples to this place of union. He begins to teach them to pray.
                 Neither Samuel nor the disciples was prepared for what happened to them. Samuel was convinced that Eli was calling for him. He was amazed to discover that it was not Eli, but God who wanted him. The disciples, on the other hand, were looking for the Messiah. Someone who would liberate them from Roman rule. They saw a strength in Jesus which attracted them. They often wondered how this charismatic man was going to liberate the Jewish people. What they discovered was that Jesus called them to a new kind of liberalism. He taught them how  God desired to pray through them.
          Each of us has been loved into this world by our Creator. Through prayer we remain connected throughout our lifetime. We all pray, we use prayers of petition, thanksgiving, forgiveness, pray for peace, we pray as a community or say the rosary. We each have our favorite style. But prayer is a two way street. It is not our only talking to God or reciting memorized words. It is also listening. Eli, Samuel, Jesus, and the disciples all learned to listen. At times,  we can become so busy with the important tasks of life that we forget to listen. When we realize that our day is full of activity or that we are trying to control things ourselves, it is time to retreat into the silence of our inner space.
     In the first reading we learn that God is the one who initiated prayer, as when God calls out to Samuel. Even those times when we cry out in desperation, it is God who invites us. In our pain we call out to God for help, for only God can know the depth of our suffering. And still we are asked to listen. To be still to that “fount” which washes away the pain and carries it off to the Creator. As we learn to let go of our pain, our self- centeredness, the desire to have our own way, we become transformed. We begin to learn where Jesus lives. It is then that we become disciples of Christ; our healing touch becomes the healing touch of Jesus, our forgiveness becomes the forgiveness of Christ, our loving becomes the presence of God.
     The men in today’s reading were not unique. God desires to pray through all of us. But recognizing God’s voice takes practice. Don’t be afraid to sit quietly and Day” Lord, I’m listening “.
       May God bless you all !
       Fr. Dominic
       Your brother in Christ