Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
1 Sam 3:3-10, 19; 1 Cor 6:13-15, 17-20; John 1:35-42
In the readings this week, we are invited to look within ourselves and consider our response to God when He calls us to do His work. He calls each of us by name to come forward to Him. Do we surrender ourselves to Him, body and soul?
The first reading recounts the famous scene of Samuel’s call. The first three times that Samuel heard his name being called, he thought it was Eli who had summoned him. But Eli finally figured out that it was the Lord who had been calling Samuel and told the young lad this and counseled him to respond with an open spirit – Speak Lord, your servant is listening. Samuel did this the next time and thus started his relationship with God. It was a relationship that would play a profound role as the prophet of God who would anoint David who would go on to become Israel’s most successful king and feature in the genealogy of Christ. There are a couple of lessons we can learn from Samuel’s encounter with God. Like Samuel, we too might sometimes fail to recognize God’s call mistaking the urgings of a friend or a neighbor as something emanating from that person without God’s involvement. Secondly, we need to have hearts that are open to God. When Samuel was told to be open to God, he responded willingly and we are told that after that, he did not let a single word of the Lord fall to the ground. This is the most valuable lesson Samuel can give us.
St Paul in the second reading reminds us that when we are respond to God’s call, it is not simply a matter of responding with our minds or our mouths. We come to God entirely, body and soul. Paul was speaking against the sin of fornication and he explains that this is so because our bodies are for God serving as temples to the Holy Spirit. Paul explains that this is because our bodies have been bought and paid for by God when Jesus died for us. Our purpose in life is thus to glorify God.
In the Gospel, we read about Andrew’s encounter with Jesus. Andrew’s interest arose from the testimony of John the Baptist that Jesus was the Lamb of God. When they approached Him to ask where He lived, Jesus invited them to “come and see”. Andrew went with Jesus and his life changed after that. He returned to his brother Simon who would later be renamed Peter, the rock, and told him that he had found the Messiah. Andrew took Peter to see Jesus and then his life too was changed forever. Andrew’s response is enlightening for several reasons. First, he pursued his initial interest by accompanying Jesus to go and see for himself where He lived. Second, he recognized Jesus for the Messiah. Third, when He recognized Jesus as the Messiah, he promptly came round to tell his brother and then bring him to the Lord. Significantly, it would be Peter who would later be the rock on which the Church of the Lord would be built. Andrew’s response teaches us that faith demands action.
As we reflect on the readings this week, we learn that the God who made each one of us and who died so that each one of us could again live, finds us so incredibly precious and He calls each of us to come to Him. God wants us to respond wholeheartedly. He wants us to sanctify ourselves to Him, body and soul. Will we recognize His call? And how will we respond when we do? We need to come to a landing on this in our own lives today for the sake of our eternity.
Some points for reflection as you read the passages:
Do you identify with Samuel’s failure to recognize God when he was being called? What things typically cause you not to see God’s presence in your life?
According to Paul, why is it important to ensure that our bodies are held holy to God? What would you do differently if you were to take this seriously?
What first drew the attention of the disciples to Jesus? Why did Jesus ask them to come and see for themselves where He lived instead of just telling them?