Knowing Jesus 6 – Shofar Durbanville Bible Studies

17th January 2021, 


Reading 1: 1 Sam 3:3-10, 19 This reading gives the story of the call of the boy Samuel to be a prophet. We see the persistence of that call and Samuel’s ready response to it.

Reading 2: 1 Cor 6:13-15, 17-20 Paul tells us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and we must use them, not for sin, but for the glory of God.

Gospel: Jn 1:35-42 This gives John’s account of the call of Andrew and his brother, Peter, and of their first encounter with Jesus.


Very often we complain that God is silent. We long to hear him speak to us or to receive some sign from him. Yet the problem lies not with God who is ever communicating his will and love to us, but with us the receivers, for we fail to perceive his message. We hear of something similar happening in the readings of today.

In the first reading the child Samuel hears the voice of God but fails to recognize who it is that is calling him. However, Eli perceives the presence behind the voice and gently leads the child to an encounter with God. The child would grow to become a great prophet who would lead God’s people. In the Gospel passage, the two disciples of John see the Lord with their eyes but fail to recognize the divine presence in the person of Jesus. John the Baptist however perceives the reality of the divinity behind the veil of his humanity and leads his disciples to an encounter with Jesus. His disciples would then go on to become the disciples of Jesus and they in turn would lead others to an encounter with the Divine Master. There are three elements common in both these passages:

  1. The initial failure to recognize God’s presence
  2. The subsequent encounter with God
  3. The enlightened, enlighten others.

In our faith journey something similar happens. God is present with us and speaks to us in different ways. However, we fail to recognize his presence. We do not hear him as the Samuel did, nor are we be able to see him as his disciples did. But this in no way undermines the reality of his presence in our midst. God is revealing himself to us constantly in all that happens to us. If only we can perceive the hand of God in all things through the eyes of faith, we will see all things in a new light.

What are some of the ways in which God is present in our midst communicating his love to us?

  • God is present with us in the Eucharist: In the Blessed Sacrament we have with us the real presence of Jesus. Jesus himself promised us that he will be with us always “even to the end of the age” (Mt 28:20). Although our senses cannot grasp this marvel, through faith we must believe and embrace this mystery.
  • God is present with us through his word: In the scripture God speaks to us and reveals his will. “The word of God is alive and active” (Heb 4:12), “for all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16)
  • God is present to us in our brothers and sisters: “Whatsoever you did to one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you did unto me.” (Mt 25:40). If only we see the face of Jesus in those whom we meet every day, not just our life but the life of others too will become beautiful.
  • God is present within our hearts: St Paul tells us that we are the temples of God. God is dwelling within our being. We need not go outside in search of him for he is within us. We need to enter within ourselves and we will find him. The means to enter within ourselves is prayer.

When we encounter God, our life changes for the better. We see things and people differently. We cannot keep this treasure that we have found hidden within us. We go out to share the secret of our joy with others in order to draw them to an experience with him. The presence of God gives us strength to carry out his will in our daily life. Every moment should become an opportunity to experience his love. If we carry within us this attitude, we will be winners in every situation. God knows what we need and he will give us what is best for us.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 40: 2,4,7-10 See, I have come, Lord, to do your will

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