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Homilies/Reflections

RESPONDING TO GOD'S CALL. A reflection for 2ND Sunday of the Ordinary Time, Year B
By Fr. Donatus Okeke
Sat, 23 Jan 2021

Readings:1 Samuel 3:3b-10.19; 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a.17-20
Gospel: John 1:35-42
 

We all have a unique vocation from God. God uses various medium to call us. Many Christians have different experiences of how they realized their vocations.  

The Church in today's liturgy reminds us of our individual calling. Today's readings help us to understand the nature of God's call. The First Reading recalls the call of Samuel. In the Gospel, St. John narrates his version of the calling of the first disciples of Jesus. St. Paul in the Second Reading reminds us of our Christian calling to glorify God in our bodies.
 
In the call of Samuel, God initiated the call. He called Samuel by his name. It is God who initiates any call; we do not call ourselves or force God to call us. He may use human elements to realize this, just as he used Eli to help Samuel recognize his voice. 
 
God used a voice Samuel was familiar with - the voice of Eli, since he was ignorant of his own (God) voice. God will always use the simple things around us, which we are familiar with, to reach us. 
When Samuel learnt it was God calling, he replied: "Speak, for your servant hears." The Church encourages us today to always listen to the voice of God. Our society is filled with voices calling for our attention. The question is, whose voice do we listen to and follow? How can we recognize God's voice? We must have to make out time for God. We listen to God through the Scriptures (Word of God), the sacraments, our consciences as well as our brothers and sisters.
 
John's account of the call of the first disciples of Jesus is unique. John the Baptist showed Jesus to two of his disciples: Andrew and the unnamed disciple. John the Baptist was the medium that enabled the call of these disciples. He played the same role Eli played in the call of Samuel. We always need a medium for which we can discern our vocation. Here, we must have to mention that every Christian (no matter your calling) needs a spiritual director or a counselor.
 
"What do you seek?": Jesus used the interrogative 'what' instead of 'who' because he knew that they were looking for him. So, no need asking 'who'. We need to still answer this question. Jesus knows that we are following him but, what do you seek?  People follow Jesus for several reasons like friendship, miracle, healing, firm and others of such. 
 
"Come and See": In response to their question of where he stays, Jesus replied: "come and see". This is an invitation not to a particular geographic location but an invitation into a relationship - life long relationship. This was a channel for them to become his disciples. Jesus invites us to become those who share their lives with him -those who know where he lives.
 
The Gospel reported that the disciples stayed with him the rest of the day. This is symbolic. This would mean a long time. Of course, we know that they not only spent the rest of the day with Jesus, but, they spent the rest of their lives with Jesus. 
 
In the Second Reading, St. Paul reminds us of our Christian calling to preserve our bodies. We must avoid any form of sexual immorality. Sins against our bodies prevent us from hearing, discerning and obeying God's call.
 
Beloved in Christ, God calls us daily. He calls us through the ordinary events of our life.  Let us join the Psalmist in responding: "See, I have come, Lord, to do your will."
 

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