2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time January 17th, 2021-B
My brothers and sisters in the Lord!
Misunderstandings occur when someone mishears a word or phrase, and giving it a completely new meaning. The lyrics to songs are particularly susceptible to these misinterpretations. For example, Bob Dylan’s, The answer my friend in blowin the wind”, becomes: “the ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind”. The Beatles, “A girl with kaleidoscope eyes”, becomes: A girl with colitis walks by”.” Then there is: Oh say can you see by the dawns early light “becomes: Jose, can you see by the ‘donzerly light”. There is no translation for donzerly because there is no such word.
Today’s readings are about the importance of hearing properly, about listening with the heart. The boy Samuel mishears as he is lying on his bed. When the Lord calls him, he mistakenly believes that it his is guardian Eli calling him. Only after a third call does Eli finally understand that what Samuel is really hearing is the call of God. Samuel’s response is: “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening”. This indicates the prerequisite for the perfect disciple: the commitment to listening to the word of God and carrying it out. In fact, we are told that not only was the Lord with Samuel, but that Lord let no word of Samuel’s “fall to the ground”, which is an indication that Samuel was so in tune with the Lord’s voice , with the Lord’s mind and intentions, that everything Samuel spoke rang out true and came to pass. Authentic hearing results in authentic speaking and acting.
In the Gospel, we find that the two disciples of John the Baptist are also in a listening mode. They have committed to following John in response to an inner call from God. And yet now John, in effect, sends them away to listen to the voice of another, that is the voice of Jesus, “The Lamb of God”. It’s not that they have been mishearing by listening to John. But John knows that a deeper listening is now needed, that there is someone better to listen to, someone, as John would go on to say, is more powerful than he, someone filled with God’s Holy Spirit> and so the two disciples go home with Jesus, and spend the rest of the day listening to him . Jesus’ words, like Samuel’s, are effective and we see in those few hours, they transform Andrew so dramatically that he is able to say to his brother Peter: ‘ We have found the Messiah.” They had found what their inner voice had called them to look for.
My brothers and sisters prayer is our communication with God. Communicating with God isn’t the same as having a two way conversation with a human being, but the essentials are the same. It’s about a relationship, it’s about trust, openness, quality time and listening with the heart to what is really being communicated. God’s Word is ultimately a person—Jesus Christ. When we listen to the Lord, when we encounter the Messiah, our lives are changed. Because the Lord doesn’t communicate facts or data, the Lord Communicates God’s self: that is God’s love, God’s life and God’s mercy. When we allow ourselves to “hear” those things, and be touched by them, they invoke a response in us which goes beyond mere words, in other words they change our lives.
This weekend we announce the 2021 Annual Appeal
My brothers and sisters:
Today, as an Archdiocese we launch our Annual Appeal. Today’s Gospel is a fitting introduction to this archdiocesan wide effort.
- As a model of authentic stewardship, Jesus is not merely a man of words. Jesus invites his disciples into his very life. He gives himself totally to them – he gives is time, his home, his goods, and ultimately his very life.
- Discipleship is not something which we undertake alone, it is journey through which God, with our cooperation, makes each of us a “gift’ for others.
During this last week some of you may have received a letter from Cardinal Tobin about the start of the 2021 Annual Appeal of the Archdiocese of Newark.
In the Church vestibule, we invite you to view Cardinal Tobin’s message concerning the appeal. The video you will see shares an impact of your gift. Now more than ever , your support is needed to fulfill the mission of the Church within our four counties , and particularly for our needy brothers and sisters.
- Envelopes for a one time donation or pledge (which you will receive monthly reminders) may be found in the Church vestibule.
- You are also welcome and encouraged to give online at: rcan.org/sharing. You may select to make a donation or pledge, as well as designate your parish.
- You may send your gift or donation directly to the Archdiocese, please don’t forget to put your account number on the memo portion of your check (not your envelope #) it is a longer number (may even be a portion of your phone #) in order that our parish receive proper credit.
You may restrict your gift for any ministry listed on the case for support which may be found on the envelope as well as on the website.
Your consideration is greatly appreciated is helping us reach our goal. Thank you.