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Are You Leaving Room to Hear God's Voice?

January 17, 2021   Second Sunday of Ordinary Time (Lectionary: 65)

Reading I   1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19
Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD
where the ark of God was.
The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.”
Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.”
“I did not call you, “ Eli said. “Go back to sleep.”
So he went back to sleep.
Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli.
“Here I am, “ he said. “You called me.”
But Eli answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.”

At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD,
because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet.
The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time.
Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.”
Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth.
So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply,
Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”
When Samuel went to sleep in his place,
the LORD came and revealed his presence,
calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him,
not permitting any word of his to be without effect.

Responsorial Psalm   Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10
R. (8a and 9a) Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or offering you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

Reading II   1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20
Brothers and sisters:
The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord,
and the Lord is for the body;
God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?
But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him.
Avoid immorality.
Every other sin a person commits is outside the body,
but the immoral person sins against his own body.
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 your own?
For you have been purchased at a price.
Therefore glorify God in your body.

Alleluia   Jn 1:41, 17b
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We have found the Messiah:
Jesus Christ, who brings us truth and grace.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

Gospel   Jn 1:35-42

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” — which translated means Teacher —,
“where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”
So they went and saw where Jesus was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
“We have found the Messiah” — which is translated Christ —.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
“You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas” — which is translated Peter.

By Victoria Mastrangelo 

As a mom and a teacher, I am called for constantly throughout the day. I hear my name over and over and generally spend the day responding to the needs of my students or my children. By the end of the day, this introvert prefers to have no one call her or need her or talk to her in order to recharge. 

I often associate the idea of “a call” with vocation, which both being a mother and a teacher are for me. They are the “yes” that I have given to God’s request to “come and see” His plan for my life.

I am grateful for those constant reminders to live outside of myself and to be at the service of another - but it’s exhausting.

Often, each day ends with an empty tank and little to no time or energy to refill it. It also means that I often don’t leave room to hear God’s voice calling my name. I’ve heard my name so much over and over throughout the day, that it’s easy to ignore or push aside one more mention of it, even when it is the Lord that calls me. 

“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 your own?” I feel like I am constantly reminded that I am not my own - that I am for the other. 

However, am I remembering that I can only be for the other because I am first God’s?  

St. Paul reminds us here that we must take care of ourselves, particularly on a spiritual and moral level. It reminds me of the cheesy exercise from youth group days where the speaker tries to pour sand in a vase first and then the rocks to show that God can’t fit if we put everything else in first.

My life oftentimes becomes the vase that is first filled with sand - I give everything to my callings, my vocations, but then I have nothing left to give to God. I leave no room for His voice to penetrate into my life and to call me in a new direction. I excuse it because I am being of service to others and because I see it as doing “God’s work.”

But, is it God’s work if I’m left too tired and touched out for God? 

This Second Sunday of Ordinary Time is a reminder that we are not our own. God has called me and will continue to do so, but, I must be still and ready “with ears open to obedience” like Samuel to hear Him. I must make room for Him in my mind, spirit, and body to allow Him space to speak and move in my life. Only when I prioritize the voice of God will I truly be ready to say “speak, for your servant is listening.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Victoria Mastrangelo is a wife, mother of three, and high school theology teacher in Houston. She loves to read multiple books at once, research, write, drink coffee, and travel, as her dream job is to be a perpetual student. Her favorite saints are Edith Stein, Ignatius of Loyola, Dorothy Day and John Paul II which tell you a lot about her spirituality and love of the feminine genius and social justice.

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