Second Sunday of the Year

1 Sm 3:3-10 & 19; 1 Cor 6:13-15 & 17-20; Jn 1:35-42 (Year B)

“You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings, but an open ear. You do not ask for holocaust and victim. Instead, here am I.”

The prayer of the psalmist reminds us that the first step in holiness is an open ear. As sinners, we are all too conscious of our imperfections and the temptation, especially at the beginning of a new year, is to commit ourselves to a thorough spiritual workout. We fail to recognise, as did the psalmist, that the Lord has no need of our proposals. He longs only for an attentive ear, a heart that chooses to rest in his presence.

The first book of Samuel records in detail the prophet’s call. Subsequent chapters describe his sure guidance as Israel established herself as a nation and kingdom. Compared to his, our lives are lived on a less heroic scale. Nevertheless, the discernment of our own lives and vocation must surely follow the pattern of Samuel’s calling.

Already from the earliest years Samuel’s way of life had placed him close to God. He lived at the Temple Sanctuary in Jerusalem. We live distracted lives in a complex world, but we can, through patient prayer, create within ourselves a sanctuary that longs for the stillness of God’s presence.

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