Daily Reflection
January 16th, 2000
Larry Gillick, S.J.
Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Samuel 3:3-10, 19
Psalms 40:2, 4, 7-10
1 Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20
John 1:35-42

We are back to Ordinary Time and will be for the next seven weeks before praying through Lent.  We hear a calling in today's readings of the liturgy.  In praying with these readings we sense the difference between demand and invitation.  There is no pointing of fingers or loud shouting, only the gentle presence of God Who never stops calling, but never invades.

Perhaps you have been awakened from your sleep, thinking your phone was ringing.  In your dream it was.  Samuel was sleeping in the temple and we hear of his being awakened several times by a voice.  Samuel eventually wakes up not just from sleep, but to his being called to listen.

The wonderful Gospel for today pictures Jesus walking along and two of John's disciples have Jesus pointed out to them.  They get into trouble by beginning to follow Him and when Jesus turns around He asks them the most important of questions.  When Jesus invites them to "come and see," their lives are ruined. 

They came and saw more than they bargained for; they came to see themselves more clearly and the world around them more sensitively.  Their lives as they knew them, the world as they knew it, everything was changed from that moment on.  Ruined, yes, their independence, self-reliance, personal dreams were altered for ever.  The ordinary was now to be extra-ordinary.

We all have had persons entered our lives; spouses, children, friends, even enemies, God forbid.  There have been interruptions by new-borns, perhaps the puppy you gave the kids for Christmas.  Ordinary Time has begun and when Jesus enters our lives, He invites us to a readjustment, a re-viewing of just what is ordinary. 

What we are invited to in Christ is a "holy-mentality" or in a more usual term, a "sacramentality" in which we see ourselves and the world around us as a sacrament, a holy place.  Paul puts this very clearly in our second reading, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?"  "Therefore, glorify God in your body." 

So our ordinary body is special and we, with these two first disciples have to come and see such truths.  Our bodies are holy places now and we have to come again and again to Jesus to be reminded.  Our bodies, or better our selves within our bodies do such unholy things though, how can they be holy?  "Come and see" is always His response, His invitation. 

The gentle calling of God to Samuel, waking him up, is the same voice waking us up to just who God says we are.  We are not ordinary in God's way of seeing and God invites us to see God's ways.  We are in extraordinary time once we hear Jesus invite us to come and see Him and ourselves more clearly.  In Jesus, we are invited to live what seems ordinary lives with the sacramental view of God's presence in the sacred presents around us.  Our view of things then will be ruined for the better.  Petered had his name changed by meeting Jesus; we are called to have much changed by meeting Jesus, but not as quickly or easily as having a name-change.  The rest of Peter didn't change that fast.   We will perhaps take a few weeks of watching Jesus to see if we are ruined enough.

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