THEME: GOD’S CALL
READINGS: 1 Samuel 3:3-10, 19/ 1 Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20/ John 1:35-42
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
The message of the day is about God’s call. Often we limit God’s calling to vocations to the priesthood and religious life. In that case, some of us switch off even before the homily begins. Beloved, don’t switch off because God calls us in many different ways (other than becoming priests and religious brothers and sisters). Indeed, he calls us many times, even several times in a single day (cf. 1 Samuel 3).
Furthermore, besides God’s general call to us as his people, he calls us individually. Remember, he called Samuel by name, and Jesus called Simon by name. It is therefore important that each of us is attentive – on a daily basis – to what God is calling us to do or not to do.
I want to illustrate the rest of the message by looking at some simple reasons for which someone may call us. Let me consider only three reasons for the sake of time:
- We can be called to receive an information;
- We can be called to be sent; or
- We can be called to return.
Similarly, sometimes God calls us to give us information, or to send us, or to ask us to return. Let us take them one by one:
CALLING TO INFORM US:
God may call us to give information about ourselves, about someone else, or about salvation in general. His information is good news. Anytime we read or hear the Bible being read, God is delivering his good news to us. In the case of Andrew and his companion (in the gospel reading), they received God’s good news through their first master, John the Baptist, who said of Jesus: ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ (John 1:35), and they immediately followed Jesus.
Secondly, the Good News may be about promotion: Samuel was already servicing in the sanctuary, but God called him for greater service – that is promotion. Again, Andrew and companion were disciples of John the Baptist and they were promoted to become disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. This year, may you receive the good news of your promotion! Amen!
CALLING TO SEND:
Now let us look at God calling to send us: God called Samuel (who was like today’s mass server in the sanctuary) to become a priest and prophet. Jesus called Andrew and Simon to become apostles – that is, to be sent. Similarly, today God is calling some young people to become priests, religious brothers and sisters. If this year, dear youth, you hear God’s voice, say ‘speak Lord, your servant is listening’. If you are not sure who is calling you, see a priest for guidance, as Samuel went to the old priest, Eli.
Furthermore, God is calling some to become catechists, marriage counsellors, ushers, lectors, choristers, etc. Some of you heard the voice last year but you were either not sure or had some excuses. As God called Samuel four times, so he is repeating his call to you this year. Take up the challenge. See any of the catechists if you want to become one; see any of the marriage counsellors if you want to become one; or see any of your parish priests.
There are also times God calls us to send us as advisors – it may be to help resolve a family dispute. In short, God calls to send us on various missions.
CALLING US TO RETURN:
Now, we consider the third and final point: Sometimes, we may be going in the wrong direction, and God may call us to return to him. In other words, he may call us to repent.
St. Paul in the second reading, realized that though the Corinthians still confessed their faith in God, they had returned to some of the bad moral habits, and so he exhorted them to repent and dedicate themselves entirely to God. Beloved, let us also return fully to God – with our minds, hearts and bodies as well.
This year, may we hear every calling of God! May we respond immediately! And may we enjoy all the blessings his calling brings! Amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis