Thoughts on the Readings for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B) 2018

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/011418.cfm 

Having concluded the Christmas season, beginning this weekend we return to what is known in our liturgical year as Ordinary Time.   This designation is meant to distinguish this time in our liturgical year from the other seasons of our Church year, e.g. Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter.   

This Sunday both our first reading and our Gospel contain stories of God calling individuals.  Our first reading, from the Book of Samuel, records the call of Samuel.   At first Samuel thought Eli was calling him and so he went to him.  After the third time, however, Eli realized that God was calling Samuel, and so he told him:  “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’”   Our Gospel records the call of Andrew, who in turn brings his brother, Simon Peter to Jesus.  

There are at least two things to note in these readings.  First, notice that in both cases, initially someone else recognized God’s call before the individual who was being called.   Eli realized God was calling Samuel and John the Baptist pointed out Jesus to Andrew telling him:  “Behold, the Lamb of God.”   This suggests that sometimes we need others to point out God’s presence in our lives.  Second, notice that both calls did not come in a dramatic or extraordinary manner; in fact, quite the opposite. For Samuel the call came while he was sleeping and Andrew’s case he was just standing there when Jesus walked by.   This suggests that we need to be alert, because God’s call doesn’t always come to us in a spectacular manner. More likely it will come to us in the midst of our everyday and ordinary activities.  

Our second reading this weekend is from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians.   In it Paul challenges the Corinthians to engage in correct moral behavior.  He reminded them:  “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 on your own.”

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. John the Baptist pointed out Jesus to Andrew who in turn pointed out Jesus to his brother, Simon Peter.   Who pointed out Jesus to you?
  2. Samuel needed Eli’s help to recognize God’s call.   Has someone helped you to recognize the call of God in your life?   
  3. What do you think it means to be a Temple of the Holy Spirit?
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