January 17, 2021 — Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
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
Our readings today focus on the vital attributes of being a disciple of Christ.
Our First Reading from Samuel unfolds the relationship between Samuel and the Lord. Samuel, who is serving under the priest Eli, hears Eli call him while he is sleeping. Samuel goes to Eli, yet Eli is not the one who is calling him. This happens three times before Eli realizes it is the Lord who is calling Samuel. Eli encourages Samuel to respond next time with, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
If we put ourselves in Samuel’s shoes, we can wonder how many times the Lord has spoken to us but did not recognize His voice. God’s voice might already be present in the quiet of our hearts, in Scripture, or even in speaking through someone else. He speaks to us in various forms, but to recognize that it is Him, we must give Him a portion of our time by being still and listening to what He is calling us to do or not do.
We can also put ourselves in Eli’s shoes, as Eli recognized it was the Lord speaking to Samuel, and he encouraged him to respond. Once Samuel responded to the Lord, “Samuel grew up, and the Lord was with him.” Without Eli, would Samuel have ever understood it was the Lord who was speaking? We can only hope! Thankfully, Eli was a good steward of his own wisdom and knowledge of the Lord.
Often, we find ourselves in circumstances where we could share our knowledge of the Lord. Yet, we hold back. We cannot allow opportunities to share our faith pass us. To be a disciple of Christ means we are a good steward of the knowledge that has been gifted to him or her by God, sharing it with others.
Our Gospel today bears witness to Jesus’ first disciples. The two that were with John were his followers, which means they had heard of Jesus and believed in Him. Upon seeing Jesus, John proclaims, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The lamb is a reference to the Jewish sacrificial offering at Passover. This title of Jesus reveals Him as Savior. Once they heard this, they immediately followed Jesus. They had to be with Him. Jesus turned to them and asked, “What are you looking for?” They responded with, “Rabbi, where are you staying?”
Imagine Jesus asking you, “What are you looking for?” Or “What do you seek?” We might respond with answers like a better job, more kids, retirement, or any number of things that we think will make our lives better. The things we seek may be righteous, and God wants us to come to Him with everything — yet, as disciples of Christ, we should first and foremost seek the Kingdom of God. If we strive to respond to Jesus’ question in the same way the first disciples responded by asking, “Where are you, Lord?” then we will not be disappointed with the outcome. A disciple of Christ seeks the Kingdom of God first in his life.
Our story of Jesus’ first disciples concludes with Andrew intentionally sharing the Good News of Christ to his brother, Simon Peter. Andrew had the gift of meeting the Lord and did not hoard it to himself. Instead, he sought his brother and proclaimed what he had experienced. This is a reminder for us. We are called to be missionary disciples — to seek the Lord and to share what we have found. Our faith is a gift! We should strive to share this gift with others. A disciple of Christ is a good steward of the Good News.
Our journey as disciples of Christ is an ongoing adventure. To grow on this journey, we can seek first the Kingdom of God, listen to God’s voice in our lives, and be good stewards of what He has gifted us. With that, the Lord will respond with, “Come, and you will see!”