Wednesday, 15 January 2020 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we listened to the words of the Scripture speaking to us of the works that the Lord has done among His people, and how He calls all those whom He has chosen to be His disciples to be His instruments through which He performed His many wonders in this world. In our first reading we have the calling of the prophet Samuel in his youth, while in the Gospel we heard how the Lord Jesus embarked on His ministry, healing many of the sick who came to Him, and also healed the mother-in-law of St. Peter.

Beginning from what we have heard in our first reading today, the young prophet Samuel heard the call of the Lord at night three times, calling him to follow Him and to listen to what He wanted to tell him. The prophet Samuel listened to the Lord and obeyed the Lord, who called him to be His worker in leading the people of God back to Him, guiding them through the many difficult years under the Philistine dominance, and eventually anointed two kings of Israel, Saul and David.

The prophet Samuel responded to the Lord as his mentor, the Judge Eli told him to, that when the Lord called, he was to reply with, ‘Speak Lord, Your servant is listening’. And this response marked the beginning of the ministry that the Lord had entrusted to Samuel and which he embraced wholeheartedly for the rest of his life. He did a lot for the Lord and sacrificed much of his time and energy to do the many works he has done.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the Lord Jesus healing the mother-in-law of St. Peter who was very sick with high fever. And after He healed her, many came to hear about His miraculous healing powers, and they all brought their sick ones to the Lord. The Lord healed them all and more and more came to seek healing from the Lord. He and His disciples could have just stayed there and be in their comfort zone, but what the Lord did next was that He went off to another place to minister to the other people there.

In this manner, the Lord also did what the prophet Samuel had done. He obeyed the will of His Father, and did what He has been entrusted to do, following where His Father has commanded Him to go, in serving the needs of the people of God in many places. He and His disciples moved from places to places, often not even having a shelter over their heads, and they had to endure challenges and trials along the journey, while ministering to the people.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, what is the significance of all these to all of us? It is that all of us have been called to the same ministry as the prophet Samuel and which the Lord had done with His disciples. We are called to follow in the footsteps of Christ and His Apostles in ministering to the people of God. We are called to follow Christ and to be witnesses of His truth to the nations, and the works He has entrusted to His disciples are still ongoing and not yet done.

Are we willing to make the effort and give our best to serve the Lord? Are we willing to commit our time and our energy for the greater glory of God as te prophet Samuel and as the Lord and His disciples had done? Let us all reflect on this today, and look back at how we have lived our lives thus far. Have we been truly faithful to God all these while? Or have we instead been serving our own selfish interests and desires all these while?

God has called us all to follow Him. If we have not done so, then let us embrace Him and endeavour to begin this journey of faith with Him. Let us all seek Him with all of our hearts and with all of our strength, and listen to His will intently rather than listening to our own desires and selfish thoughts. May the Lord be with us always throughout this journey, that all of us may remain steadfast throughout our own respective vocations in the Church, that we may do our very best for the greater glory of God at all times. May God bless us all and our good works. Amen.

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