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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

SECOND (2ND) SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME OF THE YEAR B (JANUARY 15 2012): A REFLECTION ON THE READINGS

Welcome to the Ordinary Time of the Year. the Christmastide just ended with the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. Here is my reflection for next Sunday, the  2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B: 

Some years ago, a little stubborn boy went to his parish priest and said “Father, I will like to do the things you do”. “What things the priest asked and the boy replied “the things you do as a priest”. The priest then said to him, “Ok my boy, the priesthood is a vocation and you are not yet called to it”. With this the boy retorted, “but you told us on the feast of the baptism of Our Lord that by virtue of our baptism, we share in the tripartite offices of Christ as Priest, Prophet and King and that we all have our vocations, having being baptized and with a vocation, how then am I not called to it?”.

The little intelligent boy in our story posed an interesting question to the priest on the concept of vocation. The word ‘vocation’ is from the Latin verb voco vocare, meaning ‘to call’. Vocation is a call to something. In Christian context, vocation is regarded as a special call by God to a special duty especially a religious duty.

In the first reading, we are presented with the story of the call of Samuel. He was the son of Hannah who dedicated him to the temple service when she gave birth to him after several years of barrenness (cf. 1 Sam 1: 19-28). Samuel was faithful to his duty in the temple and was very close to the Presence of the Lord. One day, the Lord called him and he answered through the guidance of his master Eli. He later grew up to become a great priest. In the gospel reading, we see the call of the two apostles. Before their call, they were engaged as followers of the great prophet, John the Baptist who introduced them to Jesus and eventually allowed them to follow Christ.

Today’s message is centered on vocation in the generic sense. We find certain similarities in the call of Samuel and the two apostles and these similarities are relevant to us. They were engaged in something meaningful before God called them. Samuel served in the temple while the apostles were John’s disciples. It means that God does not call lazy or idle people. Both parties were also very obedient to their masters, Eli and John respectively. This means we must obey those placed in charge of us because through them, we are directed to answer God’s call. Eli and John encouraged their disciples to answer God’s call effectively. This means that those placed in charge of others must help them to answer God’s call. Both answered God’s call without arguments which means that we must be ready to accept whatever is God’s will for us.

An interesting point in vocation is the point the little boy in our story did not yet know. God gives a vocation to whomever He wills, whenever He wills and however He wills. He calls people to do diverse things. The same Lord calls us but not to the same vocation. Each and every one of us is called to a unique vocation. Some are called to be priests, religious men and women while others are called to be teachers, doctors, lawyers, etc. It is not about what you like to do but what God likes you to do. We should be comfortable with our calling and not try to answer where we are not called.

Another interesting point is that God calls us to certain degrees of our vocation at various times. He does not just call us directly but allows us to be formed according to what He wants us to do. The little boy first had to be faithful to the demands of his state as a growing child before he is further called as a seminarian and then priest. Samuel was first called as a temple servant before he was called as a priest. The apostles were first John’s followers before they became Christ’s apostles. A businessman was first a sales boy. It is about being faithful to the duties of your present state before God calls you to a higher state. But we must not settle at the intermediate call but the ultimate call. The apostles didn’t stop at becoming followers of John but when they saw Jesus, they left John. Some have left noble professions for the priesthood and religious lives, others leave one profession for another. We must know what God wants for us and how to get there. When you are faithful in a level you will be promoted to the next.

For every call, there are demands. To answer our calls faithfully, we must meet these demands. One of the demands of every calling is discipline which is exercised in various ways. One of such ways is mortification. We can mortify our bodies from those things that are against our calling. Every vocation requires moral purity and that is why the second reading warns us against every form of immorality. For every degree of calling, there is a degree of sexual mortification required. Those whose calling at the moment requires sexual abstinence should do so until they are permitted to exercise conjugal rights. Those whose calling permits conjugal love must learn to be faithful to their partners. More still, those whose vocation demands perpetual chastity must learn to practice perfect continence. Purity of mind and body is important in our vocations because purity enhances communication with the Lord who has called us. Since the Lord who has called us is able, may he help us to do this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

2 comments:

  1. Complimenting this reflection is just like adding LIGHT to the SUN. Its okey! The analogy used is full of fruitful given inspirations. Sehr gut!!! ...ich liebe es!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous12:18 am

    This is very inspiring. Please give us more of this.

    ReplyDelete

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