YOU SHALL BE MY WITNESSES (Acts 1:8)
????1 Sam 3:3b-10, 19; Ps 40:2 and 4ab, 7-8a, 8b-9, 10 (R. cf. 8a and 9a); 1Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20; John 1:35-42
In a way, today would be considered as a vocation Sunday. This is because all the readings, especially the First Reading and the Gospel make reference to the call which God makes to man, as well as the responsibility which man is given to help others also answer that call.
The Gospel begins with John the Baptist pointing out Jesus to two of his disciples. At their encounter with Jesus, Jesus invited them into his inner life, they liked what they saw and then went to inform their brothers and friends. That tells us that we cannot be authentic disciples of Jesus if we do not bear witness to him in the presence of others.
Talking about bearing witness, St. Paul in the Second Reading tells us of the importance of living a moral life which is aimed at glorifying God (cf. 1 Cor 6:20). We cannot be true witnesses if the Gospel we preach does not reflect in the manner of our lives. Blessed Pope Paul VI said that, Our contemporaries today listen more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if they listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses. That is why someone defined evangelisation as having Christ and sharing him with others.
Unfortunately, many of us who are called Christians today fell short of this call to be witnesses. That made the great Indian sage, Mahatma Gandhi to say, I love Christ but I do not love Christians because they do not do what Christ has commanded.
As fellow pilgrims, we therefore have the responsibility of guiding ourselves along the right path. That is the essence of guidance and counselling and Spiritual Direction in our Christian journey.
Do you have a spiritual director? Nobody knows it all, and do not even think that you do. You may have an orientation towards good but end up doing bad due to lack of understanding. That is why Eli was very important in the vocation of Samuel. Samuel heard a call, but it was Eli who helped him to understand that the call was from God.
We must all examine ourselves. How many people have we shown the way to God since our baptism? Do we help others to grow in faith or do we lead them away from faith following our lifestyle? Are we truly witnesses to Christ?
May God grant us the grace of bearing authentic witness to him so that at the end of our lives, we may hear him say to us, Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matt 25:34). Amen.