In the call of Samuel and the first apostles, this Sunday’s Readings shed light on our own calling to be followers of Christ.
Notice in the Gospel that John’s disciples are prepared to hear God’s call. They are already looking for the Messiah, so they trust in John’s word and follow when he points out the Lamb of God walking by.
Samuel is also waiting on the Lord — sleeping near the Ark of the Covenant where God’s glory dwells, taking instruction from Eli, the high priest.
Samuel listened to God’s word and the Lord was with him. And Samuel, through his word, turned all Israel to the Lord (see 1 Samuel 3:21; 7:2-3). The disciples, too, heard and followed — words we hear repeatedly in Sunday’s Gospel. They stayed with the Lord and by their testimony brought others to the Lord.
These scenes from salvation history should give us strength to embrace God’s will and to follow his call in our lives.
God is constantly calling to each of us — personally, by name (see Isaiah 43:1; John 10:3). He wants us to seek him in love, to long for his word (see Wisdom 6:11-12). We must desire always, as the apostles did, to stay where the Lord stays, to constantly seek his face (see Psalm 42:2).
For we are not our own, but belong to the Lord, as Paul says in Sunday’s Epistle.
We must have ears open to obedience, and write His word within our hearts. We must trust in the Lord’s promise — that if we come to him in faith, he will abide with us (see John 15:14; 14:21-23) and raise us by his power. And we must reflect in our lives the love he has shown us, so that others, too, may find the Messiah.
As we renew our vows of discipleship in this Eucharist, let us approach the altar singing the new song of Sunday’s Psalm: “Behold I come . . . to do your will O God.”
Scott Hahn is founder of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, stpaulcenter.com.
Readings: Samuel 3: 3-10, 19; Psalm 40: 2, 4, 7-10; 1 Corinthians 6: 13-15, 17-20; John 1: 35-42