2nd Sunday Year B - Homily 1

Homily 1 - 2006

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with images, flooded with information, kept abreast of the bad news from all quarters of the globe, bewildered by opinions, tricked by spin, stimulated, or drugged, by incessant noise, voices, colours  - a world of events, opportunities, offers and invitations.  It call all seem too much: “Let me escape to the garden or to the kitchen” - but even there, the choices and the opportunities seem endless.  What’s it all about? What’s it all mean?

I love the conversation (if that’s what you can call it) in today’s gospel.  What do you want? Where do you live? Come and see!

What do you want? They are the first words of Jesus in John’s gospel, and, as you would expect from John’s gospel, they are profound.  What do you want?  But before Jesus asked that question, Andrew and his unnamed friend had begun tentatively to follow.  So something was stirring.  They knew they were looking for something, for someone.  That’s why they possibly had started off hanging around John the Baptist.  Had John the Baptist not quite touched the spot? They were looking for more, for some tantalising, undefined, more.  Perhaps they couldn’t answer Jesus’ question, certainly not off the cuff.  Perhaps the question defies an answer; and keeps on opening out as each stage of the search is reached.  The “more” we seek may be infinite.

So they didn’t answer Jesus’ question.  Instead they asked Jesus a question: Where do you live? And that’s a great question, too, and since we’re right into John’s gospel, it’s a profound question.  Where do you live?  What is the world you inhabit? What’s it feel like? What’s the atmosphere, the scent in the air?  Where do you live?  Who’s the company you keep? What are your desires? What do you want? What is it about you that seems of itself to create trust, to engender hope?

Their question brought Jesus’ invitation: Come and see!  And that’s profound, too.  You’re welcome!  Get close.  Be open to the possibilities of friendship, of mutual trust.  Be open to learn the vision, and to discover its source in the infinite mind and heart of God.  Come and see!  Come and listen!  in the stillness, in the quiet, in the darkness, in the emptiness.

The First Reading today reflected something of the same search, the same yearning.  Speak, Lord, you servant is listening - and the contemplative Samuel, so we were told - let no word of God fall to the ground.  The Psalmist also took up the message: You (God) do not ask for sacrifices or offerings, but an open ear. 

An open ear!

What do you want? Where do you live? Come and see!  It’s all there - the “breathing space” in an otherwise fragmented, desperate, out of breath world.