Remade in Christ This New Year
User’s Guide to Sunday, Jan. 17
Sunday, Jan. 17, is the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year B). Mass Readings: 1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19; Psalm 40:2, 3, 7-10; 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20; John 1:34-42.
The first reading this Sunday recalls the story of the young Samuel being called by his name while he and Eli slept. The high priest Eli told Samuel that, when he heard his name called again, he should respond, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” Eli understood that it was the Lord who called Samuel and that the only proper response to God is to make oneself available to him. The Psalm for today makes this very point as we respond, “Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.”
The Gospel from St. John echoes this first story of Samuel. Two followers of St. John the Baptist, one of them St. Andrew, heard the Baptist say of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Immediately upon hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus, who invited them to come and stay with him for the day.
St. Andrew, we read in the Gospel, then went and sought out his brother Simon to tell him, “We have found the Messiah.” Simon followed his brother to meet Our Lord and was told that he would later be renamed “Cephas, which is translated Peter.”
Like Samuel, when the two disciples encountered the Lord, the most pressing matter for them was how they might follow and serve God, and so it should be for us. Indeed, when we have found the Lord, we must, like St. Andrew, tell others about him. But St. Paul tells us today that our whole manner of living ought to change in order to reflect our being servants of the Lord.
In the second reading today, St. Paul tells the Corinthians in no uncertain terms that our “body is not for immorality, but for the Lord.” He says, “Avoid immorality,” for “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you.” Therefore, our bodies are not our own, he says, “for you have been purchased at a price.”
This is not, of course, what our culture tells us about our bodies. “My body, my choice” is a common phrase. According to our culture, our body is our property. And increasingly, our bodies are seen as things made for manipulation. Our body is a tool at our disposal for our pleasure and nothing more.
We learn this Sunday, however, that Christians with eyes set on the Lord must seek to be in his service as those first two disciples were in the Gospel.We must watch what we ingest through our mouths, and many do at the new year, with dietary resolutions. But we must also watch what we take in through our eyes and ears. As St. Paul notes, our bodies were bought by the blood of Christ on the cross. And if we wish to be true disciples of the Lord, we must live accordingly, so that, as St. Paul says, we might truly “glorify God” in our bodies.
This is a countercultural attitude, but it is one that has been true for the People of God since the beginning. May we all resolve to live that this new year and be remade as Simon Peter was.
- deacon omar gutierrez
- temples of the holy spirit
- user's guide to sunday
- user’s guide to sunday