Gospel Reflection: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1

1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19

Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD
where the ark of God was.
The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, "Here I am."
Samuel ran to Eli and said, "Here I am. You called me."
"I did not call you, " Eli said. "Go back to sleep."
So he went back to sleep.
Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli.
"Here I am, " he said. "You called me."
But Eli answered, "I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep."

At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD,
because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet.
The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time.
Getting up and going to Eli, he said, "Here I am. You called me."
Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth.
So he said to Samuel, "Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply,
Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening."
When Samuel went to sleep in his place,
the LORD came and revealed his presence,
calling out as before, "Samuel, Samuel!"
Samuel answered, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him,
not permitting any word of his to be without effect.


Jn 1:35-42

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
"Behold, the Lamb of God."
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
"What are you looking for?"
They said to him, "Rabbi" — which translated means Teacher —,
"where are you staying?"
He said to them, "Come, and you will see."
So they went and saw where Jesus was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
"We have found the Messiah" — which is translated Christ —.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
"You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas" — which is translated Peter.


In today’s readings we hear different ways in which God calls. In the First Reading, God speaks directly to Samuel and calls him by name. In the Gospel, He calls two of His disciples through John the Baptist and then later calls Peter through Andrew. Whatever the means, God always finds a way to call us and invite us into communion with Him.

In the First Reading, Samuel confuses God’s voice for Eli’s, the high priest. He is being called by his name after all, and no one in the temple other than Eli knew him by name. Thankfully, Eli recognized the voice of God and helped Samuel discern His call. Samuel was receptive to Eli’s counsel and responded willingly to God when he heard His voice.

In the Gospel, two disciples are standing with John the Baptist when Jesus walked by. John wastes no time in pointing them in the direction of the Messiah – the One whom he had been preaching about and preparing the way for. As Samuel, they are also receptive and obey John’s counsel by following Jesus at that very moment.

God then uses Andrew to announce to Simon that they have found the Messiah, and Simon, in turn, follows Jesus. Here, we see Simon receive a call within a call. God first calls Simon through his brother, but when he comes before Jesus, Jesus Himself calls Simon by a new name – Cephas, which means Peter. In Scriptures we hear God change someone’s name when He assigns a specific call or mission to that person. Peter is open and receptive to all that God is unfolding before him.

Both Samuel and the disciples demonstrate a willingness to follow and obey God. In answering His call, they are invited to accept a unique mission to be fulfilled within the Kingdom of God. These calls reflect the truth that every one of our lives are important and hold a purpose. May we be receptive today to the voice of God and may we be willing to answer His urgent call to advance the mission of His Kingdom here and now.

I also ask that you join me in praying for young men and women, that they be open to hearing and responding God’s call to the Priesthood and Religious Life. May we take responsibility, as baptized faithful, to encourage vocations and help young men and women recognize His call.

Please be assured of my prayers before Our Lord, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

+ Bishop Schlert


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