YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 2ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: DISCOVER AND NURTURE YOUR VOCATION/DESTINY
BY: Fr. Johnbosco Obika
HOMILY: * 1 Sam 3 : 3 – 19, 1 Cor 6 : 13 – 20, Jn 1 : 35 – 42.
Hello, I welcome you into this new year 2021. The beginning of each year is a time of discovery and recovery of lost paths, shattered dreams and damaged vocations and destiny.
It is also a time to enter into a greater level of relationship with God and deeper spirituality. These require clear vision and mission, discernment, enlightenment and direction.
I wish to quickly remind you that no one here on earth arrived by accident. God says in Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Certainly there is divine purpose and direction for everyone.
So today we talk about our vocation, the call and the destiny God has arranged for each and everyone of us even before we were born. Let’s look into those things that helps us to achieve our vocation, destiny and purpose in life. They help us to discover and nurture our vocation.
Discernment simply put is the ability to find out what I call the three Ws of our calling in life:
a) What does God want from me or want me to be or do for him?
b) Where does he want this to happen?
c) When is the right time for it. In 1st Samuel 3:3-19 Samuel was able to know what God wanted him to be or to do, where it will be done and the right time for that. So it is very important we pray for the spirit of discernment to know exactly what God wants from us. Prayer is very fundamental in this business of discernment.
Understanding God’s timing and aligning ourselves to His will is also important in vocation discernment. It is also important to know that each of us has his/her time. People like John the Baptist, Samuel, Sampson etc. discerned their vocations very early in life.
Some others have their vocation known to them in the mid age of their life and after some ups and downs like Andrew, Philip, Paul, etc.
Some others like Peter, Mary Magdala joined at a later time in life after some struggles. But no time is late for God. What is important is what we achieved with our vocation whether as a priest, a politician, a business man or woman, a teacher, scientist, economist, etc.
2. GUIDANCE AND DIRECTION
In addition to discernment we need guidance and spiritual direction to achieve our vocation in life. When Samuel heard a voice he was not sure who was calling so he ran to Eli for spiritual direction. Spiritual direction helps someone to move from the level of being “available” to being “obedient”. Before the little Samuel ran to Eli his response to the voice was “Here I am”. But afterwards, at the direction of Eli it became ” Speak Lord your servant is listening” which is a sign of obedience and docility to the call.
3. DESTINY HELPERS
There are people in life who help us to achieve our vocations or destiny. The mother of Samuel prepared him for his vocation by bringing him to serve in the temple as she promised. The circumstances surrounding the birth of Samuel has a lot to say about his vocation. If you are a parent how do you prepare your children to walk on that path God has designed for them? We also ask ourselves, how do we help our friends to locate or reach their destiny or answer their call in life? The gospel of today from John chapter 1:35-43 shows us some instances of destiny helpers. John The Baptist helped Jesus to fulfill his vocation by showing him to the world as the lamb of God. Jesus helped the two disciples to discover him when he asked them “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” Andrew heard what John said about Jesus and followed him. What we say to others influence them a lot. It is good to always say positive and edifying things because we don’t know the amount of impact it would create on others. Andrew did not keep quiet when he found Jesus. The first thing he did was to help his brother Simon to find Jesus too. Be a destiny helper and the one that leads others to their vocation and destiny and not a destiny destroyer.
May the Lord help us to fulfill that purpose who carved for us before we were born. Amen.