2B18. 1Samuel 3:3b-10, 19. This Sunday opens our walk with Jesus through his public ministry. The foundation is being laid down as we hear Samuel say, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” The first reading calls upon us to have minds open to hear and understand; and wills open to obey and love. In our first reading Samuel hears the Lord calling but does not know that it is the Lord who is calling because he does not know how to listen for the voice of the Lord. The first reading says, “At that time Samuel was not familiar with the Lord, because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet.” The Lord became a human in our midst to say in part that he did not want to be just a distant person far from us. He came then and comes now to become a familiar part of our lives. It is not the familiarity that breeds contempt but rather engenders love.
When asked by a Pharisee in Matthew 22:36-37, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the great?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is a new and old testament demand that God be the love of our life, the love that is our life. We can only truly love someone with whom we are in personal and cordial contact. We can know a cold fact, e. g., there is a God out there somewhere in the sky, but that is not love. God makes himself familiar to us in prayer. It is a relationship that grows by our becoming more and more committed to him and his will, treating him as the God of our lives. It is a relationship that grows deeper and stronger day by day until the day we die to this world.
John 1:35-42. When John the Baptist said of Jesus to two of his disciples, “Behold, the Lamb of God,” they knew that he was telling them that Jesus is the Messiah. So when Andrew, one of those two disciples, found his brother, Simon, he said to him in reference to Jesus, “We have found the Messiah.” What does it mean to be called the Messiah? In Mark 15:32a, the chief priests with the scribes said, “Let the Messiah, the King of the Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” In John 18:36a, Jesus says to Pilate, “My kingdom does not belong to this world.” The Messiah is the king of the world beyond this material world. Then in John 18:37c, Jesus says, “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Jesus is the voice of truth because he himself is the truth. Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The very person of Jesus that is the Word spoken by the God the Father is the truth. This material world, a world in which things are here today and gone tomorrow, can limit us to the world of our earthly horizon, blinding us to the world that is beyond it, the spiritual world that is forever. The Messiah came to lead us to the fullness of truth, to the whole of reality. In Luke 9:35, God the Father came as a voice from a cloud saying, “This is my chosen Son: listen to him.” Hear him by letting not only his words but also his very person be the very life of our hearts, minds and souls. Jesus changes the name of Cephas to Peter, which means rock, to say that Jesus will be a new life for him, a rebirth in the Christ, which will make of him a whole new person in Christ. Jesus wants to do the same with all of us.
1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20. In this epistle God reveals the fullness of truth that is so diametrically opposed to the thinking of this world. “You are not your own. For you have been purchased at a price.” Our bodies, for that matter, our lives, our very persons belong to the God who gave us life so that we may live forever in the joy of his love. The attitude of this world is that this is my body and I will do whatever I want with it. As the angel Lucifer did, we can reject God’s ownership over us and so merit that eternal future called hell. “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him.” To have eternal life we must be joined to the only one who is able to give eternal life, Jesus. Any immorality of the body, or otherwise, is a choice to separate ourselves from Christ. When we choose to belong to Christ, how wonderful it is to realize each day of our lives that we are temples of the Holy Spirit! Jesus said in John 16:13: “But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” When Jesus left this world he gave us the Holy Spirit to enable us to have Jesus who is truth himself as our daily life so that we can find our way to heaven and the joy of an eternity there.