SECOND SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
IS IT TRUE? IS IT FALSE? IS IT A VERIFIED PIECE OF NEWS? IS IT FAKE NEWS? Knowing how many fake news are going around in Facebook, in whatsapp, and any social media outlets, the need to cross-check is very important and must be the first basic thing to do. But sometimes common sense is not so common at all.
In the first reading, we have the famous Vocation Story of Samuel. When God first calls Samuel, Samuel doesn’t understand who is calling him. Samuel for three times went to Eli to verify if it is he who is calling him. The role of Eli is highlighted here and he understood clearly that it was God who was calling Samuel. He told Samuel and gave him directions, “Go and lie down, and if someone calls, say “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” And Samuel did it. In the Second reading, St. Paul reminded the Christians of Corinth about the “good news” that their bodies are to be used for the glory of God, and not to believe the “fake news” that was going around, that fornication is “normal”.
In the gospel, the two disciples of John heard from him that Jesus is the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”. They believed for sure the testimony, the preaching and the life examples of John the Baptist, but still they followed, cross-checked and enquired from Jesus first where he lived. He responded, “Come and See”. The words of Jesus may mean a lot of things. They may mean “come and see what I am doing”; “come and see to know me”; “come and see where I am taking strength in my life”. In the end they realized that the invitation of Jesus was to meet him as a person. It is only after verifying that, that they started spreading the news about who Jesus was. Encountering Jesus leads someone to be a missionary.
At the end last December (26-30), The Xaverians in Sierra Leone organized a COME AND SEE program for young men who have an interest to become missionaries. Like Andrew, we the xaverians, would like to share our charism with young people in Sierra Leone. Thirty young men from different parts of the country answered the invitation. Like the disciples in the gospel, the youths needed to separate themselves from their daily routine, especially their Christmas activities. They examined and questioned themselves not so much about what they wanted but about the plan of God for their lives, because vocation is primarily becoming the person God wants you to be.
In a world where news is easily fabricated and sensationalized, we are asked to be like Samuel and the two disciples of John the baptist who asked, inquired and then answered the invitation of God. Like St. Paul, we may be heralds of “good news,” not of “fake news”.