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Second Sunday – Year B – Ordinary Time
Readings: 1 Sam 3:3b-10, 19; 1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20; Jn 1:35-42.
Reading 1 (1 Sam 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.
Reading 2 (1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20):
Brothers and sisters:
The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord,
and the Lord is for the body;
God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?
But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him.
Every other sin a person commits is outside the body,
but the immoral person sins against his own body.
Do you not know that your body
is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you,
whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been purchased at a price.
Therefore glorify God in your body.
Gospel (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.
I. THEME: We need to hear, to see and to reason so that we could recognize God’s will.
God could reveal to a person directly or through a mediator; most of the time He revealed through a mediator. In order to recognize God’s will, people need to have three elements: God, a mediator and the revealed person.
Today readings show us practical examples to recognize God’s will. In the first reading, God called the child Samuel three times before He revealed Himself to him. Samuel recognized God’s voice through the help of his master, Eli. In the second reading, St. Paul helped us to recognize God’s will in His creation of our body. We must use our body to do God’s will and to glorify God. We can’t use our body for immoral life because they are parts of Christ’s body and the Holy Spirit’s temple. In the Gospel, John Baptist introduced Jesus as the Lamb of God to people and to encourage his two disciples to follow Jesus. After knowing Jesus, one of the two is Andrew, introduced his brother Simon to Jesus. Simon’s name was changed to Peter by Jesus, and he became his disciples from that time on.
1/ Reading I: The child Samuel was guided by Eli to recognize God’s call.
Samuel’s life was exceptional, even before his conception. His mother, Hannah was barren for a long time and suffered insults from people. She made a vow to God that if He gave her a son, she will give him back to God so that the child could serve God all the days of his life.
God accepted her prayer and gave her a son. She named him Samuel which means “I asked God for him.” She kept her promise and took her child to the high priest Eli at Shiloh, so that he could serve God in the temple. After saying good bye to his mother, Samuel stayed in the temple until God began to reveal Himself to him in today passage.
(1) God tested Samuel three times: Before God reveals to Samuel, He wants to test the child’s awareness during his sleep. According to the passage, the author reported what happened the first time: “The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down within the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down.”
At that time, Samuel didn’t know God yet. This is why the child, even though he slept in the temple, ran to his master Eli; because there were only two of them in the temple. Eli also didn’t know if God called the child or his imagination, so he told him to go back to his bed.
(2) Eli helped Samuel to respond to God: After the third time, Eli recognized it might be God’s call, and he taught the child the proper way to respond to God. He instructed Samuel: “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, `Speak, Lord, for thy servant hears.’”
God might call us many times, but we couldn’t recognize God’s call because of many reasons: our environment is so noisy, our sleep is so sound, and too many worldly distractions are in our mind.
(3) Samuel responded to God’s call: With the master’s instruction, Samuel went back to his bed; and when God called him one more time, he responded as instructed: “Speak, for thy servant hears.” And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.
Several things we may learn from Samuel: First, temples or churches are places where people can recognize God’s will because of their tranquility and sacredness. Samuel served and slept in God’s temple at Shiloh. Secondly, everytime Samuel heard the call, he immediately responded though he didn’t know it was from God. Every important event that happened in our life is an opportunity for us to recognize God’s will; we need to meditate and to pray in order to find out His will for us. Lastly, Samuel ran to his master to ask for guidance everytime he heard the call, and he did exactly as he was instructed. We also need guidance from spiritual directors who shall help us to discern our problems and to recognize what God would like us to do.
2/ Reading II: Human body is created to do God’s will, not for entertainment.
Most of the authentic Letters written by St. Paul are to answer to problems which were happening in the churches he established. The problem in today passage is the fornication which some Corinthians didn’t regard as a sin. According to Plato and his followers, human body is a prison that confines human soul; therefore, there are two ways of life resulted from this concept. Some people, like the Manicheans, favor strict ascetism; they beat up and neglect their body in order to control them. Some, like Epicureans or Hedonists, favor a pleasure life; they don’t consider fornication as sinful, because they think the body isn’t important. St. Paul must face the latter way of life; he instructed his faithful in Corinth to avoid fornication due to the dignity of human body.
2.1/ Your body is a part of Christ’s body: The theology of human body is one of main topics in Pauline corpus. According to him, all Christians are members of one body which is the Church, and Christ as the head. Therefore, all Christians have duty to safeguard Christ’s body since if one part is hurt, the whole body is hurt. Based on this principle, St. Paul concluded that human body is created to serve God, not for fornication. He taught us two important concepts about human body:
(1) Human body shall be destroyed: “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food” — and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” The body must be used as an instrument to glorify God.
(2) Human body shall be resurrected: “And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! But he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.”
When one unites his body with someone, he becomes one body with that people; this is only legal between husband and wife. Therefore, when one commits fornication, he separates himself from Christ’s body because sin can’t be together with holiness in Christ’s body.
2.2/ Our body is the Holy Spirit’s temple: St. Paul continued to teach his faithful: “Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, the Christians are anointed to become God’s children and to do His works. We can’t no longer live for ourselves, but for God. As Christ, we are buried with his Passion and death, so that when he is glorified in his resurrection, we shall also be glorified with him in our resurrection. And St. Paul concluded: Shun immorality! And glorify God in your body!
3/ Gospel: “Come and see!”
3.1/ John introduced Christ to his two disciples: “The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.”
When a master introduces his disciples to a better master, he is ready to loose his disciples. John didn’t want to keep his disciples, but pointed to a much better master than himself because he cared about his disciples’ profit, not his. We need to learn this lesson so that we shall also introduce God to people and point to Christ as the perfect master, not to ourselves. Jesus is introduced by John as the Lamb of God because he sacrifices himself to take away our sins.
3.2/ The two disciples’ reaction: “The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” And they said to him, “Rabbi”, “where are you staying?”
We can see three important elements to recognize God’s will are contained in this short passage: First, John Baptist is the mediator; he showed the way for his two disciples to come to Jesus. Secondly, the two disciples must overcome their hesitation and shyness to follow Jesus. Lastly, Jesus opened the conversation to help them to overcome the beginning obstacles and invited them to come and see.
The question Jesus asked the two disciples: “What do you seek?” is the most fundamental question of life. The answer to this question shall help us to decide why shall we seek God or not. If the answer is to seek material gain, fame or power, we shouldn’t come to God because He shall not satisfy our desire. If the answer is as the young man’s question in Luke’s Gospel: “What should I do to inherit the eternal life?” we should come to Christ. He will show us the way to reach our final destiny.
3.3/ Christ’s invitation: “He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.”
Others can talk about or introduce us to God; but to have our personal relationship with Him, we ourselves must come to God. We have conviction about God and our hope in Him when we have our personal relationship with Him. The two disciples spent the whole day with Jesus.
3.4/ The one who recognized Christ became the mediator: “One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah”. He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas.””
To love someone is to wish the best for that person. John loved and introduced Christ to his disciples. Andrew loved and introduced Christ to his brother, Peter. At first encounter, Jesus clearly knew Peter’s personage; he already had a mission for Peter to fulfill.
III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:
– We need to see, to hear and to reason in order to recognize God’s will. Once we recognized, we should have courage to do it and to introduce God to people.
– We need all three elements: God, mediators and ourselves to recognize God’s will. If we lack one of these elements, we shall not recognize His will.