for Sunday, January 15, 2012
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
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
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.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: 1 Samuel 3.3b-10, 19
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 6.13c-15a, 17-20
Gospel: John 1.35-42
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: