As we begin the second week of Ordinary Time people may be wondering why it is the second Sunday if last week we celebrated the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the simple answer is that last Sunday was the first Sunday in Ordinary Time but the Feast Day is the more important and takes precedent of the regular Sunday observations.
We begin our readings this week with the Book of Samuel. Samuel is one of the former prophets and this book offers some of the early history about the Kingdom of Israel. We hear from the beginning of the book with a young Samuel in the temple, where he is serving under the high priest of Shiloh, Eli. In the first couple of chapter we learn why Samuel is with Eli. (Go read it) So Samuel is sleeping and he hears a voice calling out so he gets up and runs to Eli and asks him what he wants ”Here I am.” Eli tells him it wasn’t him calling. So Samuel goes back to sleep but hears the voice again so he gets up again and runs to Eli again, but is again told it wasn’t Eli calling. So it happens yet again and for a third time Samuel runs to Eli saying “Here I am” then Eli understood and told Samuel that it was the Lord calling him and to answer “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” How many times are we like Samuel we hear the Lord’s call and assume it is someone else who is calling us. Let us be more like Samuel able to call out “Here I am and speak for your servant is listening” when the Lord calls us. This refrain “Here I am” is continued in the Psalm.
In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he writes that we are all members of the body of Christ and that our bodies are temples for the Holy Spirit so we should not sin. As we turn to the Gospel we hear from John of how Jesus began to bring together his disciples. It starts with John the Baptist saying “Behold the Lamb of God”, then two of John’s disciples go and find out more about Jesus. One of these disciples was Andrew who went to his brother Simon and told him that he had found the Messiah and brought Simon to Jesus and Jesus calls Simon, Peter. The encounters with the Lord in our first reading and the Gospel are directed meetings as it is only with Eli’s help that Samuel learns that it is the Lord calling to him and it is John calling to Jesus and then Andrew bringing Simon along that brings about the formation of the disciples. We need help from other to encounter the Lord. We can cry out “Here, I am Lord” all that we want but we need to take some time to listen for a reply. Andrew goes with Jesus and sits talking and listening before realizing that Jesus is the Messiah. Help us this week to listen for the Lord’s call in our lives and be able to respond like Samuel “Speak for your servant is listening.”