Monday, January 19, 2009

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19
1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20
Jn 1:35-42

Each of us is called by God, but how do we know that what we hear is God? Discerning the call of God can be difficult. God called Samuel, but Samuel did not realize that what he heard was God calling. Samuel, however had Eli to help him. Eli understood that the call Samuel heard was from God. Samuel responded when he knew the call was from God. In the Gospel reading two followers of John the Baptizer are told outright that Jesus is the Lamb of God, so they follow him. Andrew, one of these two who followed Jesus finds his brother Simon to tell him that they have found the Christ. They brought Simon to Jesus, who calls him directly, renaming him Cephas, Peter. There was no question about the call these people heard. Samuel had Eli to assist him, to tell him his call was from God. The followers of John the Baptizer are told by John that Jesus is the Messiah. Simon is called by Jesus himself, face to face. We, on the other hand, don’t seem to have quite so good. We probably don’t have an Eli around to assist us. We’re not likely to have a face to face encounter with Christ. We have to discern if what we think is a call is actually from God. Is the call a call toward selflessness, or selfishness? Selflessness is from God, selfishness is from us. Is the call a call to service, service to the people of God? If so it may indeed be a call from God. Is the call a call to right wrongs, to act justly? If so that call may indeed be from God. God calls us to pour ourselves out, to give ourselves to God, to give ourselves to the service of God’s people. This is what each of us, as followers of Jesus Christ are asked to do, to pour ourselves out, just as Samuel did, just as Andrew did, just as Peter did, just as the Christ did. We pour ourselves out in following God’s call, emptying ourselves, only to find the emptiness filled with God’s love and grace.

Deacon John
The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jan 18, 2009