1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 193:3b-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.
Ordinary Time brings us back to the beginnings of Christ’s ministry among us. The readings today focus on the fact that we are called to follow the Lord. Perhaps we have never recognized that we are called. Perhaps we think that first we have chosen to follow Christ. The Gospels tell us over and over that it is not we who have chosen Christ, but He who has chosen us.
The reading from the First Book of Samuel tells us about the call of Samuel. Very often in the Hebrew Scriptures we find the prophets are called, kings are called, etc. These Scriptures then recount to us the response of the person who has called.
Lest we think that only great people are called, we hear often the refrain: He has chosen the lowly; He has chosen the broken-hearted; He has lifted up the humble; He has chosen the weakest; etc. All of these phrases are meant to show that God calls anyone He chooses and that God calls everyone in some way. We know that history generally records the deeds of great people and not the deeds of us who are normal and who have little, if any, influence on our world.
God calls us to glorify Him in our body. Perhaps we misunderstand the meaning of the second reading today. It is not easy to understand or accept that the body is for the Lord and the Lord is for the body. This teaching from First Corinthians is profound and needs to be meditated. It is as simple as this: God created us for Himself and for ourselves. We must be true to that primeval relationship if we are going to live a life full of joy and depth.
The call that we heard about in the life of Samuel is a call direct from the Lord. Samuel had been living in the temple, giving his life to the Lord. The call in the Gospel begins with these two men, followers of John the Baptist, hesitantly beginning to follow the Lord and, almost out of embarrassment, asking Him where He lives. He had asked them what they were seeking, and they do not answer that question—perhaps it is too close to their hearts.
So often we also long for a savior without realizing that it is the Savior that we really want. Too often we are shy about speaking of the Christ. We are a bit embarrasses at times to say bluntly: Jesus is the Lord! Jesus is my Lord! This Sunday we are invited to walk again with Jesus, to discover how deeply He is my Lord and to learn how to draw others to Him. Let us begin this walk through Ordinary Time with confidence that He has come to save us.