1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19
Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was. The Lord called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.” Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.” “I did not call you, ” Eli said. “Go back to sleep.” So he went back to sleep. Again the Lord called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli. “Here I am, ” he said. “You called me.” But Eli answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.” At that time Samuel was not familiar with the Lord, because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet. The Lord called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.” Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the youth. So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the Lord came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Samuel grew up, and the Lord was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect.
1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20
Brothers and sisters: The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body; God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him. Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.
Gospel Cycle Cycle B
John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” – which translated means Teacher -, “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where Jesus was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” – which is translated Christ -. Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas” – which is translated Peter.
We begin Ordinary Time in our liturgical year by reflecting on what it means to be “called” by the Lord Jesus. In the first reading today and in the Gospel, we have picture of people being called to follow God. Samuel gets confused and thinks that it is another human being calling him. Eli understands eventually that it is God calling Samuel and has the courage to tell him that.
In the Gospel, it is John the Baptist who points two of his followers in the direction of Jesus. One of them is Andrew and he later brings his own brother along. Here it is clear that the call to follow Jesus can come through others and does not necessarily have to come directly from God Himself.
We are invited to reflect on our own lives. Lots of us probably don’t think that we are called by God. Yet the Scriptures seem to indicate that each person has a special call from God: to serve God, perhaps to be married, perhaps to be celibate, perhaps to lead and perhaps to follow someone else. A call from God is a call to live.
In order to hear a call, we must become silent so that we can listen. This is probably the greatest challenge of all in our present age. There is so much noise and so much distraction and so many people and things that want our attention. There is also a huge difficulty today in seeking what is right, because lots of cultures do not recognize any difference between right and wrong, but only recognize a difference between what I want and what I don’t want.
When we speak of a call of God, we are speaking about something very personal and very intimate, but not in the same way as we might have a relationship with another human being. We must learn to be in contact with the very inmost recesses of our own being—but we must not think that a call from God is simply knowing ourselves. This is also one of the difficulties in our own time. It is as though many people think that we can look in a mirror and in the mirror find out what God wants simply by knowing ourselves.
Our Catholic Christian tradition tells us that we must listen to God’s voice in the Scriptures. We must come to recognize that voice of God speaking to us in revelation and in the Church. We want to know how God speaks in Scripture and in the Church so that we can listen more attentively to how God might be speaking to us.
The second reading tells us about glorifying God in our bodies. This is a simple example of listening to God. Our cultures today believe that the body is our own, personal possession. We want to make all of the decisions about our own bodies. The Scriptures tell us another story. They tell us that the body is made for the Lord. If we can meditate simply on that truth, so many of our important decisions could come from the depths of our relationship with God.
On this Second Sunday of the Year, we are invited to listen and to respond to God. We are invited to make our decisions in life from an awareness of His personal call to us. We are invited to seek truth and to follow it. May we come to know the living God who invites us to share in His live. And may we make the decisions in our lives that proclaim that we are followers of the Lord Jesus.