I Thought You Should Know | Your greatest calling is to a life of intimacy with God
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time 2012
1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19
1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20
You who have just heard God calling Samuel in today's first reading, and Jesus calling his disciples to "Come and see," know that God is also calling you, on the profoundest level of your being, to an intimate relationship with Him.
Yes, this call is not reserved for a few chosen saints. He offers this call to each and every one, created in His own image and likeness. Let us explore how God calls us to Himself.
In today's first reading, God calls young Samuel by name three times. Three times Samuel goes to his mentor, Eli, and says, "Here I am. You called me." Twice Eli responds that he did not call Samuel and that Samuel should go back to sleep. However, the third time, Eli finally gets it! It is God that is calling Samuel, and therefore he tells Samuel to reply, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." It was then that God revealed His plan to Samuel.
In today's Gospel it seems that all the people are searching for God. Certainly John the Baptist is searching for Him in the desert in prayer and in preaching. All of Jerusalem is coming out, searching for God. Suddenly, John the Baptist sees Jesus, the answer to his own search, and exclaims to his disciples, "Behold, the Lamb of God."
Two of John's disciples immediately leave John the Baptist and follow Jesus. When Jesus turned around and asked them, "What are you looking for?" they responded, "Rabbi, where are you staying?" Jesus responded, "Come, and you will see."
These two disciples had discovered so much from John the Baptist about God calling them to Himself. However, as soon as they accepted Jesus' invitation and stayed with Him, they knew that they had found the Messiah, and they could not wait to share this good news with others.
Imagine the transformation that these two disciples experienced from Jesus during the next three years as they witnessed His public life, His passion, death and resurrection. John was transformed from a "son of thunder" into "the Beloved Disciple."
However, you may say, "That was then, and this is now!" My response is very simple. God has not changed. God will never cease to speak to your heart, calling you into a relationship of intimacy with Him.
You may say to yourself, "God knows what a sinner I am. I could never live up to His expectations. I would disappoint Him." What else is new? All 11 disciples abandoned Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, and Peter even denied Jesus three times! Since Jesus never gave up calling them, He won out. All returned the favor by giving their lives to Christ. Ten received the crown of martyrdom, and the 11th received His own mother into his home.
Our sins may distract us from hearing God calling us. Our sins may dim God's voice in our lives, but our sins will never discourage our God from calling.
You may say, "Well, God has never spoken to me," and I will respond, "So why are you here today if He did not call you?" You are listening to this today because God is speaking to you. He is speaking to you through Samuel, through John the Baptist, through the two disciples, and He is speaking to you especially through Jesus, who is telling you right now, "Come and see!"
Yes, love of sin can dim the call, but it will never discourage the Caller, who is the one who created you in His own image and likeness and has placed within you a hunger for the infinite. You have built into your very makeup the stamp of the infinite God and a hunger to realize Him as the one calling you to infinite happiness!
St. Augustine tells us so much about His calling when he says, "On entering into myself I saw, as it were with the eye of the soul, what was beyond the eye of the soul, beyond my spirit: your immutable light ... . This light was above me because it had made me; I was below it because I was created by it. He who has come to know the truth knows this light."
He goes on to say, "But I did not find it until I embraced the mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who is above all, God blessed forever. He was calling me and saying: I am the way of truth, I am the life."
Later Augustine says, "Late have I loved You. O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved You! ... You were with me, but I was not with You. ... You called, You shouted and You broke through my deafness. You flashed, You shone and You dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath, and now I pant for You. I have tasted You, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace."
No matter how holy you may think you are, or how sinful you think you are, you haven't seen anything yet! He is calling you and me to a much deeper intimacy than we have ever experienced in our life and He wants us to experience this intimacy in this life and in the life to come!
Your greatest calling is not to be a neurosurgeon, a postal worker, a father or a mother, a religious or a priest. His greatest calling is to a life of intimacy with Himself both today and forever!
Don't let your sins distract you or delay your response. His desire for intimacy with you is infinitely bigger than your sins!
Listen to His quiet, intimate voice. He is calling you from morning till night. He is even calling you in your sleep! Say over and over again with Samuel, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."
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