YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 2ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: THE ETERNAL VOICE
BY: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
HOMILY: Many voices speak to us on daily basis. All of these voices want something from us. Some come from the outside, some from within us and the most important of these voices come from above. The voice that calls out to us and speaks to us constantly from above is the true voice that directs our path to greatness and nobility; the voice of God made incarnate in the Person of Christ. This voice helps us to discern and to decipher the danger and the destruction latent in these other voices. When God calls out to us, may we respond “here I am, Lord! I come to do your will”; Amen.
The story of Samuel’s earliest experiences in the Sanctuary of the Lord reveals many things about our journey with God and how gradually we grow to spiritual maturity, guided by those who began this journey before us. To make progress in the spiritual life and to grow in the life of virtue, there is always need for a guide. This was the case in the First Reading of today (1 Sam 3:3-10, 19), between Eli and Samuel; after Samuel mistook God’s call to be from Eli for three times; “Eli then understood that it was the Lord who was calling the boy, and he said to Samuel, Go and lie down, and if someone calls say, Speak, Lord, your servant is listening”. The relationship between Eli and Samuel brings us to understand more deeply the role of Pastors of soul in the process of discernment and spiritual growth. It is one of the fundamental responsibilities of the Servants of God and Pastors of souls in our midst to help us recognise and to positively respond to the voice of God that speaks to us through various means. In the family, as Domestic Church, parents and godparents eminently perform this role especially in the earliest stages of a child’s development. This role also involves helping those under our custody to realise the destructive mission of some of the voices that speak to us; especially the voice of concupiscence that steadily attempts to destroy our bodies that is the Temple of the Holy Spirit through sexual sins. In the words of the Second Reading of today (1 Cor 6:13-15,17-20); “The body is not meant for fornication: it is for the Lord, and the Lord for the body… Your body, you know, is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you since you received him from God.” Unfortunately, the voice of concupiscence and sexual impurities speaks so loud in our days that it seems to deafen us from hearing the voice of God. Even amidst these other voices and noises, God speaks and His words are always very clear and comprehensible.
Like Eli, John the Baptist was a man who was outstanding in helping others recognise the presence of God in their midst and to help them understand what God speaks. Already in the womb, John recognised the presence and the voice of God in the person of Christ that he leapt for joy. The message that God speaks is always the message of joy for those who believe. It is the message of transformation. It is the message that invites us to move; to move away from odd ways to new ways; to move away from concupiscence to abstinence and chastity; to move away from greed to generosity and selflessness; to move away from hate and disunity to love and fraternity. The proper response towards the voice of God that is always calling out to us is to make a movement towards the good or towards a greater good. This was the case with the two disciples of John the Baptist who followed Jesus in the Gospel Reading of today (John 1:35-42). This was also the case with Simon Peter who followed Andrew his brother to Jesus on hearing from him “we have found the Messiah, which means the Christ”. Any voice that does not lead us to Christ is not from God. This is the only proper criterion of discernment for all the voices that speak to us every day. Does that voice lead me to Christ? This question must be on our lips because in Christ is our salvation; in Christ is found everything noble and edifying. In Christ do we hear the fullness of what the Voice of God says to us. In Christ is silenced every voice that inclines us to the flesh. In Christ we are led by the Spirit with our attention fixed above.
Heavenly Father, help us to hear, listen, understand and put into practice the message of your eternal Voice that speaks to us in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. May we be attentive to all the human instruments and all the things around us through which You lead us to understand what You are saying to us; Amen. Happy Sunday; Fr Cyril CCE