Saturday, January 17, 2015

How Will We Respond?

Reflections on the Readings

January 18, 2015 - Year B
Second Sunday of Ordinary Time 

How Will We Respond?

The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.

Does the Lord speak to us sophisticated 21st century folks? I think he does. Why? Because he really does want us to 'hear' his voice. I've heard it. Please don't think me weird or arrogant. It's humbling, if not frightening, but always liberating. Sometimes he speaks in that 'still small voice' in the depth of our soul and we know, that we know, that we know, that we've heard something we needed to hear.

There are many ways in which we may hear the Lord speak to us. For example, we can hear the voice of Jesus when we read the Scriptures. We can stand beside Mary and Martha and listen to Jesus say to us as he said to them, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he is dead, yet shall he live." We can take our place among the multitude and listen to Jesus say to us, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." And as we stand with Mary at the foot of the Cross, we can hear for ourselves the holy and sacred words of Jesus, "Father, forgive them." And he does. 

Sometimes God speaks to us in the simplicity and faith of a little child. For those who insist that children should be seen and not heard, please read this: 

And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were indignant; and they said to him, "Do you hear what these are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast brought perfect praise'? (Matthew 21:14-16)

Sometimes the children get it even when we don't. 

John the Baptist announced Jesus as the Lamb of God two days in a row. On the second day two of his disciples finally 'hear' it. Andrew and John, the Beloved, then seek to live for and with Jesus. And in the process, Andrew finds his brother, Simon Peter, and enthusiastically explains, "We have found the Messiah!" 

So, how will we respond to the voice of Christ calling us to himself and his Church? Do we recognize the voice of Christ? We can, you know! We hear his voice in the teachings of the Church, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and in the Scriptures, particularly in the four Gospels. Therefore let us pray that we will have the grace to respond like young Samuel. Let us hear him who calls us by name and be courageous and quick to say, "Here I am. Speak, for your servant is listening." 


Dennis Hankins, a Catholic Evangelist, is a parishioner at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, of the Diocese of Knoxville, TN.  Prior to uniting with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil 2006, Dennis served as a priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church. E-mail Dennis at: or follow him on Twitter: @dshankins or visit him at:

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