BY: Fr. Christian Eze


First reading – 1 Sam. 3:3-10. 19 Second reading – 1 Cor. 6:13-15.17-20
Gospel – Jn 1:35-42

In most of our relationships and interactions, we always discover such situation where someone connects one person to another in order to get through an issue. In most cultures, it is given that for a marriage contract to take place there must stand a man or woman who would play a middle role between the two families about to come together. Sometimes, to buy an important property like a piece of land or a used car, there is also such need for a middle man. The role of the middle man in all these include among all others, to ensure a cordial relationship between the two parties to come together.

In the first reading of today from the first book of Samuel, we saw the old priest, Eli; play the role of a middle man to connect the little boy, Samuel to Yahweh. Earlier on in the first chapter of the book, Hannah, the mother of Samuel had promised to dedicate her son to the Lord for service – 1Sam. 1:11.This was a wonderful and a marriage-like relationship that would exist between the boy Samuel and the Lord. Yet, Samuel never knew anything about the Lord. It became necessary; therefore, the person of Eli had to tell him how to connect with the Lord. Eli played his role as a middle man very effectively and the boy Samuel discovered the Lord. In the gospel of today too, John the Baptist played the same role of a middle man to connect Andrew to the Lamb of God; and through Andrew, Simon Peter. It was John who pointed at and made them know that this is the Lamb of God. John too, could be said to have played his own role of being the middle man very well.

In our relationship with God, we can discover that God would often choose to act through a medium. In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul averred: “…they will not believe in Him unless they have heard of Him, and they will not hear of Him unless one is sent…” (Rom. 10:14). Here and there, we see people who have been set to play the role of Eli and John the Baptist in the lives of others; I mean those who God has set up to help in establishing a cordial relationship between Him and His children. The first of this ever is the parents. The very first Catechist a child embraces is the mother and the father. I could remember how my mother used to hold me in her hands going to Church on Sundays. Today, I see myself a Catholic priest. Granted, some children surprise us by turning down every good influence of their parents to lose grip completely with God and become wayward. Others too, surprise us by turning every negative influence of their parents down to get tight with the Lord and become good. Yet, even in the later class of children, there must be someone somewhere who might have played the role of a good middle man to them.

Apart from the parents, we also have the teachers, leaders, advisers, priests and so on who are placed to be the Eli and the John the Baptist of our time. Many of us have sponsored marriages and baptisms. The big question is: Do you direct the little “Samuels” placed under your care properly? Do you point towards or away from the Lamb of God for your followers to see? I am afraid no neglect of such duties or any ill- discharging of them would be left unquestioned. We see the warning in the case of the prophet Ezekiel whom God promised to hold responsible would anything go wrong in his relationship between Him and Israel His people due to his negligence of his duties – (Ezk. 33:7). When we have played our roles well, it is left for God to know what to do with the boy Samuel and for the Lamb of God to know how to change Simon’s name.

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