Dignity, Discernment, Discipleship

Posted on January 9, 2024 by Published by

In the world, if we want to reach some goal and want to succeed, then we must be constantly ready and able to learn something new. We must be cunning and quick to react to whatever problems come our way. We must be strong and able to cope with a lot of things. Often times, this means that we must compromise our dignity as children of God.

As Catholics, we know that the Church stresses before all else the dignity of the human person. Our dignity arises from the fact that we are Christian, we are Catholics, and that God loves us even as sinners.

When we discover our true dignity as Catholic Christians and the true depths of God’s love for us who are sinners, then this gives us the strength, the courage, and the perseverance to follow Jesus and reach for the only goal worth living for: sanctity.

In today’s first reading, we hear about how Samuel was chosen by God. At Shiloh, Samuel met Eli, who helped him grow in his faithfulness to God and listen to God’s voice. Even more, through the help of Eli, Samuel decided to follow God’s call and to fulfill the mission that God entrusted to him. If Eli had not been a witness and helped Samuel, then Samuel might never have known how to discern and respond to God’s call.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, we see a similar example in St. John the Baptist. The disciples of John the Baptist followed him and listened to him for a few years. Like Eli, John the Baptist formed and prepared his disciples to the point of being so open to God that, when John the Baptist pointed Jesus out, they readily and immediately followed the Lord instead.

In our present day, when the world asks us to reject our dignity, promises us false hopes, and distracts us with empty joys and fleeting success, we need people like St. John the Baptist and Eli—witnesses of Christ and examples of His eternal Love, who help us hear the voice of God and follow Him. I would also like to invite you to pray for the grace to continue following your own vocation in a deeper way and be witnesses to God’s love—to be examples of true human dignity and guides to others who seek to answer God’s call. I would also like to ask you to pray for vocations, so that the young people of our parish will hear the call of God in their own lives and respond to Him with generous hearts.

Yours in Christ,
Father Arthur

Readings for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: Lectionary 65

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