Theme: WE ARE TO RESPOND IMMEDIATELY AND TOTALLY TO THE CALL OF GOD
- 1 Samuel 3:3-10. 19; Psalm 39 (40): 2. 4. 7-10. R/ vv. 8. 9
1 Corinthians 6:13-15. 17-20
Today is the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, liturgical Year B. The readings today tell us about the call of the first disciples and the call of Samuel the prophet.
The gospel today tells us that when John the Baptist pointed out to his disciples (Andrew and, traditionally, John) that Jesus was the Lamb of God, they immediately followed Jesus. And when Jesus asked them what they wanted, they asked Jesus where he stayed. Jesus then invited them to see where he stayed and they saw where Jesus stayed and they stayed with Jesus.
The next day, early in the morning, Andrew one of the two disciples who followed Jesus brought his brother Simon to Jesus and Jesus named him Peter, that is, the Rock. The Rock on which to build His Church! (Mt 16:18)
The disciples responded immediately and totally to the call of God! This is even clearer in the parallel gospel texts of Matthew 4:18-20; Mk 1:16-20 and Luke 5:1-11.
“And at once they (Peter and Andrew) left their nets and followed him.” (Mt 4:20; Mk 1:18; NJB) “Then, bringing their boats back to land they (Peter, Andrew, James and John) left everything and followed him.” (Lk 5:11; NJB)
More importantly, the gospel tells us why they responded immediately and totally! They responded immediately and totally because Jesus is the Lamb of God; “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn 1:29). Or as the Gospel Acclamation today tells us, Jesus is the grace and truth of God, that is, Jesus is the love and faithfulness of God; the two divine attributes of God revealed to Moses in Ex 34:6! (Jn 1:17; CSB; NJB) Jesus is God!
The caption of today’s gospel: “They saw where he lived, and stayed with him” (Jn 1:39; SM) means they saw with the eyes of faith and they followed him. Again, the disciples responded immediately and totally in faith and followed Jesus!
The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us about the call of the prophet Samuel. Samuel was called three times by God, but he did not know it was God calling him. He thought it was Eli who was calling him. But at the fourth time and instructed by Eli, he answered, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” Samuel then became the prophet of God and his words became effective!
The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. To listen to God is also to do his will. Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:
“Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will”. (Ps 39: 8. 9; SM)
The responsorial psalm is a thanksgiving for salvation. The responsorial psalm has four stanzas. The first stanza (vv. 2 & 4) tells us that the psalmist was saved by God. The second and third stanzas (vv. 7-9) from which the response is taken tell us that the psalmist thanked God for his salvation, not by offering animal sacrifices or offerings, but by doing the will of God! The fourth stanza (v. 10) tells us that the psalmist proclaimed the good news of his salvation to the whole community! (HCSB)
The second reading does not follow the theme of the Sunday, but the second reading has something important to tell us. St. Paul tells us in the second reading that our bodies do not belong to us, but our bodies belong to God. In Baptism we become the body of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit!
We are therefore not to commit the sin of fornication with prostitutes or with any other person. Fornication is between two unmarried persons. In the case of adultery one or both parties are married. We are not to engage in premarital sex or extramarital sex. This may lead to an even bigger sin, that is, the sin of abortion.
In the year 2003 there were 4.1 million abortions worldwide (Internet, Catholic World News, October 15, 2009), making the womb of the mother the most dangerous place in the world! More dangerous than Iraq or Afghanistan! More innocent and defenseless lives are destroyed in the wombs of mothers than all the wars put together!
We are to use our bodies to glorify God, that is, to get married and to procreate children and have a family and be happy! But today there is a crisis in marriage and the family, especially in the West, that is, some people do not want to get married and they do not want to have children and family. They only want sex, but sex was created by God for marriage, for love and procreation, that is, for the family! To maintain a population we need to have 2.1 children, that is, 3 children!
Today in the Eucharist we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and we eat his body and drink his blood, and our Risen Lord will give us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us respond immediately and totally in faith to the call of God to follow him. The Holy Spirit will help us listen to God and do his will. And the Holy Spirit will help us use our bodies to glorify God by getting married and by having children and family. A happy Sunday and a happy week to all of you!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.