1 Samuel 2: 3b-10, 191 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20John 1: 35-42
I want to share with you again how I have come to appreciate taking part with you in the celebration of Mass. I see things in a simple and straightforward way. I have expressed these ideas before. To me it is realistic to recognize that we all live in a relationship with the very source of life; the Creator, God.
Being alive is a generous gift we have received from this loving God. In a way of acknowledging this simple fact we set apart some time, most weekly, some daily, to listen to and to respond to this loving God. Our God communicates with us, addresses a message to us, through inspired writers. These communications are basic to the development of any worthwhile relationship. Along with this communication, we are called together by our God to join in a meal. It is a meal in which, in the person of Jesus Christ sharing his Body and Blood, his very essence, God’s presence, is received by us in the Real Presence of the Eucharist. We hear God speak to us and feed us in order to nourish us as we go about the next week of the journey of our lives.
This may be a simple way to look at things, but it offers to me, and I hope to you, a good grasp of this loving interaction between God and ourselves. It makes our loving God and active part of our lives.
The message of God to us sometimes develops along a theme, as is the case during the parts of the year we know as Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter. At other times, we might consider these communications with God in a more general way. God is speaking to us about aspects of how we experience life and the living presence of God in life. They also points out to us how we might respond to that experience in living out our daily lives.
This is the case today as we come together on what is known as the Second Sunday of the Year, part of what is called the Ordinary Time, the week after week time of the Church year. What we can understand today is one way that the relationship with God relates to our day to day living.
We first heard about the call an important individual from the Old Testament, Samuel, receives. This allows us to realize that in the relationship with God, it is our loving God who seeks us out. Our loving God wants a relationship with us. God desires us to know that we are not abandoned or own our own. We can live in away the reflects the assurance of a relationship with God. But, as Eli encourages Samuel, it is a call we need to hear and to which we need to respond.
Along with the call of Samuel, we also heard the call of the followers of Jesus. Further insights into the relationship with God can be gained from this episode. God comes into our midst in a way that we can experience, in the same humanity that we share. As Jesus Christ, he is first recognized as the “Lamb of God” by John the Baptist. He is the one who is given in sacrifice to us, on behalf of us. He is a teacher, yes, – he is called “rabbi.” But then he is quickly recognized as more. He is the Messiah. He is the Anointed One. He is the one promised and longed for. He is here and is available to us. Contact in this way will have an effect, an effect that is transformative. It can change us, as Simon is changed in name and is known as Peter.
In this new identity, lived in a union with Jesus Christ, as we heard reflected in the words of Saint Paul, the totality of who and what we are is affected. It is not just something vague, only spiritual or mental. It is very real and affects us physically, in the whole of what we are to be. That is the point of what Paul is writing to the Corinthians.
How we live this relationship with God is not simply an individual matter. It also relates to those who are around us, as we experience them, and they experience us, and they experience the goodness of God as shown by us.
We have come together for these moments today to hear a communication of God. It is a communication that goes beyond words. It also involves being nourished by the reality of God in the Eucharist we share. We hear the call if our loving God. We respond to that call. We are challenged to make changes in ourselves. All of this takes place in these moments so that we can be assured in ourselves, both now and in the week to come, that we experience a strengthening and loving relationship with our good and gracious God.