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Scripture Reflections - Jan. 18
2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

1 Samuel 3:3b-10-19
1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20
John 1:35-42

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

Our readings today are all about call. In the first reading, the Lord calls the young boy, Samuel, in the middle of the night. Samuel thinks that the voice he hears is that of Eli, the old priest with whom he lives in the Temple school. After Eli has sent him back to sleep a couple of times, the priest realizes that it is God Himself who is calling the lad. So, he tells Samuel, that if he hears the voice again, he is to say, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”

Again, the theme of “call” is found in John’s Gospel. John, the faithful messenger of the Lord, points out Jesus to his followers, calling Him, the “Lamb of God.” Andrew, one of the disciples, finds out where Jesus lives, and is so impressed with what he sees that he quickly goes to share the news with his older brother, Simon Peter.

Just think! If John hadn’t pointed out Jesus, and if Andrew hadn’t shared the news, we might never have had a Pope named Peter! And another thought…it takes more than the call of God for priests, sisters, and other consecrated leaders in the Church to emerge. It takes those of us who have heard and answered the call to share our experience with young men and women. Why? Because, like Samuel, young people either aren’t listening for God’s voice, or they don’t recognize the One that’s calling them to service! And that leads us to another conclusion. It’s not God’s fault that there aren’t more priests and sisters. The problem is on the other end.

What if, even when Samuel knew that God was calling him, he had just turned over and gone back to sleep as before? Or what if Peter, after listening to his younger brother, had just decided that fishing was a more profitable way to make a living? Not that there’s anything wrong with sleeping or fishing, but there’s a world out there desperately in need of Eucharist, and millions of people could starve to death if young people continue to ignore the invitation of Jesus.

We need more Elis and John the Baptists and Andrews helping our young people recognize the Voice that’s calling them. It could be a priest, or a parent, or just a good friend of someone that seems to be really cut out for ministry in the Church. This Sunday’s readings seem to be calling loudly and clearly to all of us!

And what about those of you who are being called, not to be priests or religious brothers or sisters, but nevertheless, called because a) we have been baptized in the blood of the Lamb with all the rights and privileges and duties that go with that state in life; b) because we have been confirmed in the Spirit, anointed with the Holy Chrism, and accepted the responsibilities of Confirmation?

We are called to live lives based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to live by not just the Commandments but also by the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and by the Beautitudes.

Do we have build our schedules daily for:
• A time for prayer?
• A time for Mass ?
• If possible, a time for service?
• A time for discipleship?
• Even in these dark days of the virus, to be a light of hope?

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