January 14, 2018


+  Pax et Bonum!    Peace and goodness to you this day!

We all know what it is like to “be called”.  We’ve been called the Parent/Teacher Organization at our kid’s school to help out.  We’ve been called by our Parish family to help out with everything from the Spring Fling to landscaping.  We’ve been called by our government to pay our taxes, to obey the rules and laws that help us to live together in peace, and some of us have been called for jury duty.  There’s an experience.  Have you ever been called for jury duty?  You know, it’s funny, they take that “civil duty” thing very seriously.  I have been called for jury duty twice, once in Tippecanoe County, and once in Hamilton County.  The first time, the day before jury selection, they reached a plea bargain deal with the defendant.  The second time, I got very close to being on a jury, for a murder trial.  I was all excited about it, thinking that it was going to be just like on TV, you know, like on “Law and Order”, but they cut me at the last minute, specifically because I was a priest.  It was “priest discrimination”.  Who knew, they don’t like priests on juries?  The next time, you called for jury duty, and you don’t want to go, I’ll lend you one of my black shirts with a collar.

Today, in our Gospel, as we go back into Ordinary time, we hear about the calling of the first Apostles.  It starts with John the Baptist sending two of his disciples to Jesus, and then one of them, Andrew, going and telling his brother, Simon, who becomes Peter, our first Pope!

As we hear the story of the call of the first Apostles, and also the call Samuel in our first reading, this weekend we are reminded that each and every one of us is also called by God.  We have been called by our Baptisms, to be disciples of the Risen Christ!  And along with that call, comes a lot of responsibility for living our Faith out, and as importantly, taking our Faith out to others, calling them to join us in the Church, for the building up of God’s Kingdom!

Undoubtedly, we, like Samuel, and like the first Apostles, can feel very unworthy of that call.  We don’t feel smart enough, or holy enough, or committed enough.  Maybe we just want God to go and call somebody else.  And yet, we are the ones who are here at Mass this day.  At times we may have our doubts, but the truth is that we are the ones who have been called, and for better or worse, we are also the ones who have said “Yes!” to God’s invitation!

What God wants us to know today, is that we can do this!  We can be His faithful followers.  We can answer His call with courage and conviction.  We can really be followers of Christ!  God has full faith and confidence that we can do what He asks!  We just can’t do it alone.  God is promising us today that, like Samuel, and like the Apostles, that He will always be with us!  We will never be spiritually alone!  He promises us the Holy Spirit and His gifts, will always be there to guide, protect, and inspire us to holiness and faithfulness.  And He promises us His Grace, His gifts and His blessings beyond all imagining, blessings that can only come from God, to help us to answer His Call and to do what He asks us to do.  God gives us the Sacraments and the gift




of the Church, to help us to follow Him.   We can be true disciples of Jesus Christ, we just can’t do it without God.

God also knows that we can’t do it all by ourselves, without other people!  We need each other in this endeavor!  If we are truly going to follow Jesus Christ, and be His disciples, then we cannot do it just ourselves and God.  We need Church.  We need each other!  Did you notice in our first reading, how Samuel needed Eli, to help him hear God’s call, and to know what to do after God called him?   And St. Andrew was an awesome man of Faith, but Andrew needed St. John the Baptist to point Jesus out to him and his buddy.  And then, it’s Andrew who points Jesus out to Simon Peter.  What if Andrew had NOT done that?  Maybe Simon Peter never would have become our first Pope!  You get the message, right?  We need each other.  We need Church.  We need to build one another up, and encourage one another, and help one another to hear God’s call, and to answer God’s call.

We can be the new Apostles!  We can answer God’s call.  We can be Jesus’ Church today!  We are NOT limited in any way in our ability to conform ourselves to Jesus, as our second reading talks about today.  We are only limited in our ability to conform ourselves to Jesus ALONE, by ourselves.  By ourselves, it is NEVER going to work.  So we rely on His Grace and help, we rely on the assistance of our brothers and sisters around us, we rely on prayer and the Sacraments.  All of these enable each one of us to do that which God desires!

My brothers and sisters, we’ve got this.  We can do this.  As we come to Mass today, may the Eucharist help each one of us, to say, with all our heart, “Here I am, Lord, SPEAK!   I have come to Your will!”  And may we know that we can, with God’s help, and the help of our brothers and sisters!

+  May God bless us all this week,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…            AMEN !!!

St.Maria Goretti…       Pray for us !!!