Known Unknown


Greetings on this the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: 1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19; Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10; Jn 1:35-42

Dark of Night

Light follows darkness in the very beginning of the book of Genesis where it says Evening came, and morning followed—the first day. Darkness, in a manner of speaking, gave birth to the light.

Night time brings two themes with it:

  1. Fear and danger. It is said, in ancient lore, that Adam was frightened by the first sunset. He did not know or understand the cosmic situation of light/dark, night and day.
  2. Night is a time for prayer, rest/sleep and the renewal of strength.

Night is the time to Know the Unknown.


Samuel was sleeping at night when the Lord called him.
Samuel was unsure who was calling him but Eli after being awakened by Samuel three times, reassured Samuel the Lord is beckoning Samuel, instructing him to reply: “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”

As to morning, with light, comes all the blessing of creation.

Samuel’s calling began in the night and in confusion and uncertainty. But he trusted the Lord. He trusted Eli and began his apostolate. Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him, not permitting any word of his to go unfulfilled.

What did Samuel come to know? To know God’s will (for him, for his apostolate).


What is God’s will?
What did he call Samuel and all of us to do?

  1. Sing praise with new song.
  2. Ears open to hear his word.
  3. To do his will and to allow his law to be written on our hearts.
  4. To proclaim boldly the Lord’s justice.

From John to Jesus

Behold, the Lamb of God.
John’s description of Jesus is the first time we hear Jesus/Messiah described as a Lamb.
The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

It was about four in the afternoon.
The beginning of darkness as light follows.

Peter’s calling was as like Samuel and like the first day of creation, light follows darkness.
It also began with the same characteristics.

He didn’t know the Lord yet. You see his friends thought Jesus was simply Rabbi, Teacher. The title Lamb of God would be unfamiliar. So they called him Rabbi. As Andrew walked to get his brother, he realized this is the Christ/Messiah. There is a transition between knowning Jesus as Rabbi (Andrew) and Christ (Peter). Andrew is the Eli to Samuel. It is Peter who professes later in John 6: Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. And we have already believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”

For Peter

He was entering into the first night and day of the new Creation.
A time of fear and danger.
A time of prayer, rest and restoration of strength.

At the same time.

Pope Francis asks us to enter into this same Known Unknown.
He is convinced we are in our own Samuel moment in the dark.
He is convinced we are in our own Rabbi to Messiah moment in the dark.

The Body of the Church, us, are in the darkness period. A time of prayer, rest and restoration of strength. We must be bold in allowing not knowing to be the beginning of knowing. It isn’t as if we already don’t know anything. Yet we don’t know tomorrow.

A newness of encounter with the Messiah is the gift of every dark night. How the Church thinks, acts and promotes the Truth Jesus and the truth practicum must be ever refreshed.

Come receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. This is your Samuel/Peter moment. Stay with Jesus. Learn anew how to do as the Psalmist says:

  1. Sing praise with new song.
  2. Keep our ears open to hear his word.
  3. To do his will and to allow his law to be written on our hearts.
  4. To proclaim boldly the Lord’s justice.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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