January 14, 2018
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

The two disciples who were with John in today’s Gospel did not yet know Jesus. John knew they sought the Messiah, and he understood his mission to point the way to the Lord. In the first reading, Eli realized that the Lord was calling Samuel and told him how to respond when called. Saint Paul witnessed to the Good News of Jesus to the people in Corinth, and continued to show them how to live as Christian people. John, Eli, and Paul grasped that, as people of faith, we are called to show others the way to the Lord. Who helps you be attentive to God’s presence and to respond in faith? To whom are you called to witness, to show the way to the Lord?

John’s introduction was a simple declaration: “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two disciples immediately responded. Jesus sensed their willing hearts and invited them to follow him. Do you sometimes wish that recognizing the Lord would be so straightforward in your own life? Would it not be wonderful if a friend could point to Christ with certainty? While we do not always have such a clear sense of God’s presence with and within us, we do have a regular opportunity to encounter Christ, in the celebration of the Mass. Like the disciples, we too hear, “Behold the Lamb of God.” After the consecration, just before we receive Holy Communion, the priest raises the host and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God. Behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” It is like having a friend point the way to the Lord for us. Here is Christ, ready for us to receive his Body and his Blood, to enter into deep communion with him, and to live our lives as his disciples. Nourished in word and sacrament, we are called to point the way to the Lord as witnesses to Christ’s love.

The Lord does not only call people like Samuel and the two disciples. God calls each of us. We must be attentive to God’s presence in prayer, sacred scripture, the sacraments, interactions with others, the beauty of creation. We are to grow in willingness to respond, to live as God’s people in the daily circumstances of our lives. Eli’s guidance to Samuel is for us as well: with an open heart and mind, we do well to say to God, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Like the two disciples in today’s Gospel, we must be ready to set aside whatever might stand in the way of our relationship with Christ and our Christian living. It was more than Simon’s name that changed. The disciples discovered in Jesus a new way of life, and they shared the good news of this life with all.

Today’s Readings: 1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19; Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10; 1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20; Jn 1:35-42
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Monday:  1 Sm 15:16-23; Ps 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21, 23; Mk 2:18-22  
Tuesday: 1 Sm 16:1-13; Ps 89:20-22, 27-28; Mk 2:23-28  
Wednesday: 1 Sm 17:32-33, 37, 40-51; Ps 144:1b, 2, 9-10; Mk 3:1-6  
Thursday: 1 Sm 18:6-9; 19:1-7; Ps 56:2-3, 9-13; Mk 3:7-12  
Friday:  1 Sm 24:3-21; Ps 57:2-4, 6, 11; Mk 3:13-19  
Saturday:  2 Sm 1:1-4, 11-12, 19, 23-27; Ps 80:2-3, 5-7; Mk 3:20-21  
Sunday:  Jon 3:1-5, 10; Ps 25:4-9; 1 Cor 7:29-31; Mk 1:14-20