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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
 
Homilies/Reflections

Divine call
By FR JULIUS OLAITAN

2ND SUNDAY YEAR B

 

 DIVINE CALL

God’s call requires commitment and dedication on the side of the one who is called and so the response must come from faith. Samuel responded to God asking that He should speak while he listens. Andrew, one of the two who followed Jesus after John’s testimony also brought his brother Simon confessing to him, “We have found the Messiah.” The Liturgy invites us to make our own response to God and show our commitment to the call of God in our lives.

 

FIRST READING (1 SAMUEL 3:3B-10, 19)

The book of Samuel 1&2 belong to a section of the Bible referred to as the Historical Books and the books were named after one of its main characters whose divine call the first reading today brings to us. The books of Samuel covers that period in the history of Israel spanning the time of Samuel and Saul to the reign of David. It was a transitional period for Israel from the reign of Judges to the Monarchy, from tribal communities to a central national body.

 

The story of Samuel begins with the anguish of his barren mother who was being taunted by her rival who had many children. In anguish, Hannah went up to the Tent in Shiloh and poured out her heart to God. Her prayer session was so intense that the priest Eli took her for a drunk, but Hannah convinced him that she was only a woman in anguish who was pouring out her heart in prayer to God. “I am an unhappy woman. I have had neither wine nor liquor, I was only pouring out my troubles to the Lord…” The priest then gave his blessing to her prayers, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”(1 Samuel 1:17) As part of her prayer, Hannah had asked the Lord, “If you give your handmaid a male child, I will give him to the Lord for as long as he lives, neither wine nor liquor shall he drink, and no razor shall ever touch his head.”(1 Samuel 1:11) The prayer made in faith by Hannah was granted by the Lord and she also fulfilled her promise by bringing Samuel back to Shiloh to be raised in the Tent of the Lord under Eli.  The first reading today was the prophetic call of Samuel in the Sanctuary of the Lord. He was too young to understand what was going on, he ran each time he heard his name to Eli, “Here I am for you called me.” (1 Samuel 3:4ff) At the third time Eli knew, this was not a mistake and interpreted this to be a call from God telling Samuel how to respond to the Call, “Speak for your servant hears.” From then on, Samuel became the mouthpiece of God to his people including Eli. 

 

The responsorial psalm of today (Psalm 40) sums up the life of Samuel, “See, I have come Lord, to do your will.” This psalm is a call to all who have been called to ministry among the people of God and all the baptised, to follow the divine will over and above ritual sacrifice. It is important to again realise that “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than fat of rams.”(1 Samuel 15:22)

 

SECOND READING (1 Corinthians 6:13-15.17-20)

In the time of Paul, Corinth was a large city about 60km west of Athens. Under the Romans it was the seat of government for Southern Greece or Achaia renowned for its wealth but also the city life dominated by immoral practices. As a new community of Christians, Corinth faced social, doctrinal, liturgical and moral challenges and these were the issues that dominated the letters of Paul to the Corinthians. Paul in this passage addressed the issue of low morality among the people. “The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord and the Lord for the body.” (1 Corinthians 6:13) He takes it up to the level of belonging-ness to Christ. All those who have been baptised are now members of the body of Christ. They are not free to use the body the way it pleases them but with reverence because it is the body of Christ. This is how to glorify Christ in one’s own body.

 

Gospel (John 1: 35-42)

The Gospel tells us that the testimony of the self-effacing John played a great role in the first set of followers Jesus had. In fact the Gospel reveals that, the first of his disciples, were formerly the followers of John the Baptist, who  pointed Jesus to them as ‘The Lamb of God.’

The day before this incident, John had been questioned by some priests and Levites from Jerusalem about his person and mission; and to whom he had declared that he was not the Messiah.  The next day, he saw Jesus passing and he said, “Behold, the lamb of God.” Two of his disciples immediately followed Jesus and when Jesus turned round and saw them, he said, “What do you seek,” they in turn asked, “Rabbi, where are you staying,” Jesus replied, “Come and see.” That marked the turning point in the lives of these two men. They saw where he was staying and were with him that day. When they left his presence, Andrew was to return bringing his brother Simon, who eventually was named Cephas by Jesus and later became the head of the Apostles.

 

The call of Samuel and that of those who were introduced by John to Jesus teaches us that we are all called to follow Jesus who is the Lamb of God. 

 

Each person’s call is different from that of the other. 

–there are some who are born into the faith. They have very little to say about their call except about the turning point in their lives, when they simply became very active in the life of the Church.

– there are those who have come to embrace the faith through the influence of their friends and pairs and after going through catechism have received baptism and become members of the flock of Christ.

– there are some who have become Christians because of the good deeds of other Christians.

– there are those who have become Christians because they attended Christian schools.

–there are some who are Christians just because they developed some likeness and interest in our mode of worship.

– there are some who are Christians today because of their spouses while preparing for marriage.

– there are some who are Christians because of some miraculous things that had happened in their lives.

—There are also those who have become Christians as a result of their search for the truth.

 

No matter what it may be, that has made you a Christian, are you ready to remain firm in the faith, and in the hope that this faith offers?  The two disciples remained with Jesus for the rest of the day and after that, they had become messengers for him, to bring many more to listen to his word. What are we doing with our Christianity? There are so many who are just Christians in name. They come to Church and that is just all about their Christianity. They never have time for other Church activities. They are highly talented, but are not ready. For some, the complaint is about time— It is not easy, I close very late, I shuttle between cities, we can always find excuse for such. But we often create time for what we are committed to. When this same person is sick in bed, the shuttles can stop.  When he dies, it does not take the company any stress to replace him. Why worry so much?

 

The call to holiness is open to all. Every baptised person is called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. 

Let us pray: O Lord,  give us the grace to truly follow you, not just by name, but also in the way we live. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen! 

 

 

Have a pleasant week.

 

 
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