Today’s prayer after Communion highlighted, to me, a theme running through the readings at Mass; indeed an important, fundamental aspect of our Faith.
Pour on us, O Lord, the Spirit of your love,
and in your kindness
make those you have nourished by this one heavenly Bread
one in mind and heart.
Through Christ our Lord.
Faith is shared. There is no way around it; no one can believe alone. Today’s Mass readings and prayers were all about sharing and community. St Paul tells us in today’s second reading: “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” We are not only part of Christ’s Mystical Body, but we are part of each other.
As our Gospel shows us; faith is always ignited by God’s initial action, it is He who approaches us first. The Gospel starts off with Jesus walking by John and his disciples; He came to them. When pointed out by John the two follow after Jesus, and of course Jesus invites them to come even further. “Come, and you will see.” He answers them – and they do. God is constantly approaching, constantly inviting every one to see.
But it is the family of fellow members that is so important in these readings today. If Andrew hadn’t then gone and brought his brother Simon to Jesus, where would the Church be, who would have been the first Pope? If Eli hadn’t mentored Samuel about Samuel’s first encounter with God’s approach to him – what would have happened? Today is no different, we are no different than Simon and Andrew, Samuel and Eli. It is with those who believed first, before me; and those who believe with me that I am strengthened in my faith. It is the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church that my faith is lived within, I wouldn’t have a personal faith without it.
Our actions need to be patterned after Andrew and Eli; we are teachers, mentors of the faith, to those who are invited. At the same time our actions need to be patterned after Simon and Samuel; we need to be open to the call of God, a call that takes many and varied forms. As with any family, we are, at various times, all four with each other. It is in this way that each of us can rest assure that, as with Samuel, our personal faith will grow in the Lord.