SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
1 Samuel, 3:3-10, 19 - 1 Cor. 6:13-15, 17-20 - John 1: 35-42
“God…bestow your peace on our times.” Opening Prayer
The liturgical name for this Sunday’s liturgy is THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME. However, we all realize that today, January 13, 2021 cannot be considered simply another “ordinary” day. Rather, the time period we are living in now, is characterized by a pandemic virus which threatens everyone’s health, and social/civil unrest which threatens our lives and our democracy. Clearly, the word “ordinary” - which usually connotes “lack of importance” - doesn’t accurately fit the liturgical name for today.
However, beyond any title given to the usual Sunday Mass invitation, “come and pray”, it’s important to note, that today’s scriptural theme , is very significant and “apropos” to followers of Christ. In the first reading, we are called to strengthen our relationship with God, and in the gospel, we are urged to listen and spread the good news of Jesus that will promote truth, justice and peace…anyplace and anytime.
The Old Testament reading puts a spotlight on the prophet Samuel. We meet him in the temple and he’s accompanied by the temple priest, Eli. Both are sleeping when God calls out Samuel’s name twice; the youth isn’t familiar with God, so he approaches Eli and asks if he’s the one calling. Eli replies, “I did not call you my son. Go back to sleep.” Finally, God does call Samuel one more time; then, Eli understands it is the Lord beckoning the young boy and instructs him to reply: “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” Samuel does what he’s told and is filled with grace. He and God grow close to each other; and the chosen one is groomed to do his Creator’s work for the good.
In the New Testament, we find God calling again; this happens in a different way, and under different circumstances. This gospel story tells us that on an “ordinary day” two-thousand years ago, John the Baptist is standing with two of his disciples, and suddenly, he sees Jesus walk by. He exclaims to Andrew and James: “Behold the Lamb of God”. They instinctively listen the Spirit within, and follow the “Teacher”. Jesus affirms their calling when he invites them to join him; he says, “Come and see.” After spending the day with Jesus, Andrew is indeed on fire with good news, and runs to find his brother, Peter; he lets him know that he and James have found the sought Messiah!!
Certainly, down through the ages, Jesus’ way of calling disciples has been experienced by many; and evidence shows they spread the good news of his teachings, promoted Christian values and brought about change for the good. Today, we live in a tumultuous world; and like our predecessors, we’re being called to be disciples of Jesus. Clearly, to proclaim and defend Christian truths, and bring about change for the good in the 21st Century, we need to develop a strong relationship with God through prayer, and live according to the prophet Micha’s mantra: “act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God.”
Sr. Shirley Jeffcott, OP