The Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Cochi, Kerala, Sunday 14th January 2018
Gospel: John 1:35-42
The theme of vocation stands out in the biblical Readings of this Sunday — the Second in Ordinary Time. In the Gospel there is call to the first disciples by Jesus; in the First Reading is the call of the Prophet Samuel. In the forefront of both these accounts is the importance of the figure who plays the role of mediator, helping people to recognize God’s voice and to follow it. 
In Samuel’s case it was Eli, a priest of the Temple of Shiloh where the Ark of the Covenant had formerly been kept, before it was taken to Jerusalem. One night, while he was asleep, Samuel, who was still a boy and had lived ministering in the temple since infancy, heard his name called three times and ran to Eli. But it was not Eli who had called him. The third time Eli understood and said to Samuel: “if he calls you, you shall say, ‘speak Lord, for your servant hears’” (1 Sam 3:9). So it came to pass and from that time Samuel learned to recognize God’s words and became his faithful prophet. 
In the case of Jesus’ disciples, the mediator is John the Baptist. John, in fact, had a vast circle of disciples among whom were also the two pairs of brothers, Simon and Andrew, and John and James, fishermen from Galilee. It was to two of them that the Baptist pointed out Jesus the day after his Baptism in the River Jordan. He pointed Jesus out to them saying: “Behold, the Lamb of God” (Jn 1:36), which is equivalent to saying: “Behold, the Messiah”. 
Two of his disciples then followed the Messiah who asked them:  "What are you looking for?". The two asked him:  "Teacher, where do you stay?". And Jesus answered:  "Come and see", that is, he invited them to follow him and stay with him for a while. 
They were so impressed in the few hours that they spent with Jesus that one of them, Andrew, said to his brother Simon:  "We have found the Messiah". Indeed, the purest joy lies in the relationship with him, encountered, followed, known and loved, thanks to a constant effort of mind and heart. To be a disciple of Christ:  for a Christian this suffices. 
For the believer it is always a ceaseless search and a new discovery, because Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, but we, the world and history, are never the same, and he comes to meet us to give us his communion and the fullness of life.
In the light of these two texts, I would like to stress the crucial role of the spiritual director in the journey of faith and, in particular, in the response to the vocation of special consecration for the service of God and of his People. 
The Christian faith already in itself implies proclamation and witness. Indeed, it consists in adherence to the Good News that Jesus of Nazareth has died and risen, that he is God. And so it is that the call to follow Jesus more closely, giving up the formation of a family of one’s own so as to dedicate oneself to the great family of the Church, normally passes through the witness and introduction of an “elder brother”, who is usually a priest. 
This is so, but we should not forget the fundamental role of parents who, with their genuine and joyful faith and their conjugal love, show their children that it is beautiful and possible to build the whole of life on God’s love.
Dear friends, let us pray to the Virgin Mary for all educators, especially priests and parents, that they may be fully aware of the importance of their spiritual role in order to encourage the young not only in their human growth but also to respond to God’s call, to say: “Speak Lord, for your servant hears”.