Responding to God’s Call
Readings: 1st: 1Sam 3, 3-10. 19: Ps 39, 2-10; 2nd: 1 Cor 6, 13-15, 17-20: Gos: Jn1, 35-42
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Fr. Canice is a member of For more details and comments contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
On this second Sunday of ordinary time, we hear the voice of God louder as always, inviting us to be his disciples. Today, the Holy Mother Church reminds us that God’s call is real and that God knows and calls us personally by our names. Thus, she encourages us to respond effectively to this call with our body, soul, and spirit.
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Our first reading from the first book of Samuel recounts the dramatic call of Samuel. It reminds us of our call. Many times, I have been asked, how does God speak to one? How can I respond to God’s call? These are fascinating questions that reflect our confusion as we see in the young Samuel today.
Though we live in a boisterous world, we can still hear God. That is if only we can discipline ourselves against both spiritual and biological noise. Life is full of God’s voice. As a father, he speaks to and calls us to his service every day. Like Samuel, we must always be ready to say: “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”
However, most times, the only problem is that we are too busy or always in a hurry, that we hardly have time to listen to Him. So, we need to be prepared all the time to listen to God. The question is, when was the last time we spent up to ten minutes in silence in His presence? We cannot hear him if we are the ones doing all the talking all the time.
The second reading of this Sunday is part of “Paul’s moral theology.” This is because it touches a crucial moral issue that has almost defiled solutions in our modern society. It keeps developing more tentacles as the day passes by. This is immorality, which Paul simply narrowed down to fornication.
Of what relevance is this to respond to God’s call? This vice is a sin against our body and against the Spirit of God who lives in us. Hence, Paul reminds us: “Your bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you since you received him from God.” This sin slows down one’s spiritual and moral growth. Consequently, it slows down the ability to respond effectively to God’s call.
Through this, Paul draws our attention to the relationship between morality and spirituality. The spiritual is affected by the physical. Also, Paul reminds us that we belong entirely to God. Preserving ourselves for God is a fundamental way of responding to his call. It a way of offering ourselves wholly to God as “a living and pure sacrifice” (Rom 12: 1).
The Gospel of this Sunday presents us with the early ministry of Jesus. Testimonies about him continue, especially from John the Baptist, who has accomplished his mission. Today, he fulfilled his prophecy: “I am not he who is to come…! Surely, he was not the messiah. So, he directs all true disciples to Christ: “Behold the Lamb of God!”
Today’s gospel challenges us to reflect on our response to God’s call. As he said to his first disciples, so he says to us: “come and see!” Andrew invited his brother Peter with the same words: “come and see the messiah.” Also, after encountering Christ, the Samaritan woman invited her people with the same word: “come and see the Lord” (Jn 4, 29).
These are invitations to follow Christ. Responding to this invitation is a daily affair that requires the whole of our being. Also, it requires us to help others to respond. God calls us by our names every day: “come follow me; come and see.” Therefore, like the psalmist, our response should always be: “Here I am Lord, I have come to do your will.”
Peace be with You!