A HOMILY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “B” – 1/18/15 – SMG
Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
Sometimes, when you hear a story, you just want to know what happened next. Sometimes the story ends, and there are too many loose ends. You’re left curious. I think, especially if it is a good story, we want to know even more. The mystery drives us crazy. For example, what really happened to Amelia Earhart, or did Lee Harvey Oswald really act alone in the assassination of President John Kennedy, or who gained the most from the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The follow up to those stories has great historical and international ramifications. But let’s be honest, the real rest of the story, the real answer, that several generations of us want to know the most about, what happened to the castaways on “Gilligan’s Island”? “Gilligan’s Island” was only on CBS from 1964 through 1967. CBS cancelled it so that they could keep the longer running “Gunsmoke” on the air. But when it ended in 1967, and thanks to syndication, for all time, for all of us who have watched all of those reruns while we were growing up, and that’s a lot of us, have lived with the mystery of what happened next. Did they get rescued? Did they all die on that island? Are they still there? If the Professor was so smart, why couldn’t he invent some way to set off that island? If there’s one story that we’d most like to know what happened next with, it’s gotta be “Gilliagan’s Island”!
Last week, after Mass was over, you may have wondered what happened next with Jesus. Last week we were still in the Christmas season, remember, and we were celebrating the Baptism of the Lord, and the story ended with Jesus coming out of the water, and the Holy Spirit descending upon Him, and the Father’s voice from Heaven. So what happened next? I know, it has been driving you crazy all week! Well, today St. John gives us the rest of the story. John the Baptist, sends two of his disciples to follow Jesus. Jesus catches these two following him, literally, and He asks them what they are doing. He tells them to “Come and see”. It ends up that one of those two sent by John the Baptist, was actually St. Andrew. And it is St. Andrew who takes Jesus out to sea to meet His brother, Simon Peter. And the rest is just amazing history! What we see today is the beginning of the Church. Jesus, Baptized, sealed and anointed with the Holy Spirit, begins His work. He starts that Kingdom. And notice Jesus doesn’t do it alone. From the very beginning of His work, His ministry, Jesus calls others to work with Him. So the next part of the story, isn’t just Jesus beginning His public ministry and going to work, but it is also a very important part of the story to know that Simon Peter, and Andrew, and so many others were called on right away, to also go to work for God. They got busy doing God’s work. And saw the Kingdom initiated right in front of their eyes!
As we come here today, as we head into Ordinary Time following our Christmas season, what’s next for all of us? Well, very much like for Jesus and the first Apostles, it is time for all of us to also go to work, building the Kingdom of God. We know that there is much to work to do. We know that we live in a world that is literally starving for Jesus’ Good News. Nobody should be bored here. Today, we are the ones entrusted with taking the Message of Jesus out to others. Today, the Gospel lives or dies, not with the Apostles, not with the early Church Fathers, and not with Saints from the past. Today the Church sits firmly on our shoulders, yours and mind, and we are given the responsibility of the next phase of what Jesus needs His Church to be now and in the future!
Let’s be very clear about this. We have been called by God, to work for Him while we are in this world. We are to be His people, His representatives. We’ve got work to do. There are people to love, people to care for, and people to reach out to. There’s still so much more educating to do! There’s still so much of everything to do! The Apostles didn’t finish the job, they just started it. The great saints continued it. But make no mistake about it, today the job is ours. And it is time for us to get busy! How are you helping? What are you doing? Who can you reach out to? Who do you have waiting on you to show them Christ? The possibilities are endless! Unlike “Gilligan’s Island”, there is more to the story here. And the rest of the story, depends on you, and on me! Like Samuel in our first reading, let us say “Here I am, Lord. I come to do your will.” And then, let’s go to work!
May God bless us today, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!