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2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - 14 Jan 2018

FIRST READING            1 Samuel 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.

SECOND READING                  1 Corinthians 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.  Avoid immorality.  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                John 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.

My sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus, We are all called to follow the Lord Jesus.  Just as all peoples of the Old Covenant, the Old Testament, were called to be faithful to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, so are we and especially now that we have Christ Jesus as the final revelation.  The Book of Samuel shows us that we must wait on the Lord and listen for His Word.  The First Letter to the Corinthians tells us that the redemption of our body is part of this plan.  And the Gospel reminds us that sometimes we set out to seek the Lord and find out that it was the Lord who called us first.

Discipleship!  We want to be faithful to this God who has sent His Only Son to save us and who gives us His Own Spirit.   We are all a bit like Samuel in the first reading today, from the First Book of Samuel:  we are confused about who is calling us.  Often we can think that it is our human situation or some friend or a spouse or a religious superior who is calling us—and only then we find out that truly it was the Lord Himself. Every day we can prepare ourselves.  We can make the words of Samuel our own:  “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”

Yet how can we say that we are listening if we do not spend time reading the Scriptures and listening to the Word of God?  How can we say that we are listening if we never attend Church services?  How can we say that we are listening if we do not listen to the presence of God in our sisters and brothers?

The second reading, from the Letter to the Corinthians reminds us that our bodies are sacred gifts of God and not to be misused.  Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.  Today we can find so many ways to numb our bodies with pleasure, with addictions with distractions and with countless way of destruction.  We must recognize that our bodies are truly joined to the Lord and members of Christ Himself.

The Gospel brings us back to this direct form of discipleship.  In this account from the Gospel of John, it is the followers of John the Baptist who are now seeking out Jesus because of the testimony of John the Baptist.  It is clear from this account that Andrew was completely converted by this short encounter with Jesus because he goes to his own brother, Simon, and tells him:  We have found the Messiah!!  We can only imagine the incredible message that was to Simon.  Most likely Simon had his doubts because that seemed to be part of his nature, but he went along and he also becomes completely converted.

Jesus has shown them a path of life that convinced them that He, Jesus, was the long awaited Messiah, the Savior, the one who could lead them to the Lord.  May Jesus be that Messiah and Savior in our lives.

Your brother in the Lord,

Abbot Philip