1 Samuel 3: 3b-10, 19 – 1 Corinthians 6: 13c-15a – John 1: 35-42
We were reminded last week, as we recalled the Baptism of the Lord, that, like Samuel and the Apostles, we have been called by God at the time of our respective baptisms. Being called by God in this fashion points out that in the relationship between God and ourselves, it is God who takes the initiative. God who seeks us out. God who pursues us.
This understanding o the relationship between God and mankind is evident in the very. earliest Scripture accounts In the book of Genesis and the story of the Garden of Eden, after the failure of Adam and Eve in their sinful rejection of God’s command, it is God who seeks out Adam who attempted to hide. This same call by God is found is true in the accounts of the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament. The story we heard of Samuel today is only one example. We also heard, from the Gospel of John, how Jesus, God-with-us, called on the Apostles to follow him.
To appreciate what this means even more, it may be helpful to consider the dynamic that exists in our human relationships. When we seek to grow closer to another person, it is because we view that individual as being attractive to us in some way, for whom a loving relationship develops. One seeks out this relationship because of the conviction that in sharing ourselves we can better the life of that person.
God call us and seeks a relationship with us based on God’s love for us. We are creations of God. We are products of the very essence of God which is love. We are made in the image and likeness of God and, thus, God is to be recognized through us.
In this union, this solidarity with God that is sealed by baptism, we are called to recognize the possibilities our lives offer to us to make our loving God to be known. This call does not come, however, in words spoken to us as in the case of Samuel or the Apostles. But this call can be heard in the depths and silence of our hearts and can be realized in the better choices that we make in going about our lives from day to day.
In a very practical way this very idea concerns Saint Paul as he wrote to the Christians at Corinth. This community was confronted with a disturbing and disruptive issuer. Paul was not as concerned about the matter itself as he was with reminding his readers that the correct way of acting comes from recognizing that their dignity and values they have as persons comes from a genuine appreciation of what it means to be creatures of God. So it is to be with us The powers and the abilities we have in our relationship with God are always to be directed at bettering our lives. This gives honor to the God who created us and redeemed us. The dignity of every human person has been raised up through Jesus Christ who shared our humanity. Our loving God continues to abide with us through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
God’s call is made to all of us. All of us are to recognize God’s love that is present in our lives. All of us are to join Samuel in saying, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” All of us are to reveal in our lives the commitment of faith and trust in our good and gracious God.