Baptism is the basis of our faith. We have all received the light of Christ. Have we heard the Call from God?
In the first reading, Samuel was asleep and heard his name being called. He went to Eli and said, "Here I am. You called me." Eli told him he did not call and Samuel should go back to sleep. Samuel was not familiar with the Lord because the Lord had not spoken with him yet. Samuel heard the call two more times and he went to Eli. The third time Samuel heard the call and Eli realized that it was the Lord calling Samuel.
Eli advised Samuel to go back to bed and if he hears the call again to say: "Speak Lord, your servant is listening." Have you ever said those words? I'm sure most of us have heard our name called in the middle of the night; we think someone is calling us and we get up and dash to that person. We find that person sound asleep or watching TV and they tell us that they did not call us. We go back to bed wondering why we heard our name called.
When we are sound asleep- is it the voice of God? Is it our Unconscious sending us a message? Could it be both? Pay attention when it happens- jot down the day/date/time and keep it handy. Is there a pattern? Does anything important or significant happen is the days following the call?
Psalm 40, "Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will" is one of my favorite mantras. In a situation that feels like it could get nasty or combative, or visiting someone you DO NOT want to visit, or having one of those really tough, gut wrenching conversations? Psalm 40 is my go-to. "Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will. Let me bring your Truth and your Peace, Holy Spirit guide me, let my voice sing your praise." (The second sentence is the rest of the prayer I say with Here I am ...)
The Gospel from John (1: 35-42) presents another form of "call." John the Baptist and two of his disciples are talking and Jesus walks past. John the Baptist says, "Behold the Lamb of God." The two disciples turned and followed Jesus. Jesus asks what they are seeking and they respond, "Rabbi (Teacher) where are you staying?" Jesus invites them to travel with him. Andrew, one of the men went to find his brother to tell him he had found the Messiah. Simon Peter and Andrew went back to Jesus. Jesus looked at Simon Peter and said- "You are Simon, the son of John, you will be called Cephas (translates to Peter)."
Now that is a "Call!" I get shivers when I read or hear that Gospel. Meeting Jesus for the first time and he tells you that he is going to change or alter your name! A gesture SO small but speaks volumes about Jesus, the man. Have you ever wondered- what did Jesus know and when did he know it? Did he know as a young boy what his life would be like? There is no right or wrong answer but questions like these help me to see Jesus as human (and also Divine).
1. Have you ever considered how remarkable it is to have received blessings from God? Can you name or list those blessings?
2. If you could ask Jesus ONE question- what would it be?
3. How do YOU help others recognize the living Jesus?
4. What qualities do you have that would cause others to recognize you as a disciple of Jesus?
For Children: What do you think it takes to be a follower of Jesus?
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