Gospel Reflection – Sunday, January 14, 2024 – Mark 2,13-17 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (1Sam 3:3b-10.19)

Reading from the First Book of Samuel:

In those days, Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was.

Then the Lord called, “Samuel, Samuel!” He answered, “Here I am.”

And he ran to Eli and said, “You called me, here I am.” Eli answered, “I did not call you. Go back to sleep.” So he went and lay down.

The Lord called again, “Samuel, Samuel!” And Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; go back to sleep.”

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.

The Lord called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.'” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel, Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”

Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground.

– The word of the Lord.

– Thanks be to God.

Second Reading (1Cor 6:13c-15a,17-20)

Reading from the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians:

Brothers and sisters, the body is not for immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body; and God, who raised the Lord, will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?

Whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

Flee from immorality. Every other sin that a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.

– The word of the Lord.

– Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading (Jn 1:35-42)

— PROCLAMATION of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, John was again with two of his disciples, and, seeing Jesus pass by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”

Hearing these words, the two disciples followed Jesus.

Turning towards them and seeing that they were following him, Jesus asked, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi (which means Teacher), where are you staying?”

Jesus replied, “Come and see.” So, they went and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon.

Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard the word of John and followed Jesus. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah (which means Christ).”

Then Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John; you will be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

— The Gospel of the Lord.

— Praise to you, Lord.

Refletindo a Palavra de Deus

My brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, I would like to begin our reflection with a question: How do you feel when you are called by name? When someone recognizes you, values you, and invites you to participate in something greater? This experience of being known and loved is deeply significant in our daily lives. And that is precisely what today’s biblical passages reveal to us: the joy of being personally called by God.

Imagine the scene described in the First Reading, where the young Samuel is called by God during the night. Samuel was in the temple, lying near the Ark of the Covenant when he heard a voice calling him. He ran to the priest Eli, thinking it was him calling, but Eli realized it was God speaking to Samuel.

God called Samuel by name, not once, but three times. And finally, Samuel responded, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” This response reveals Samuel’s willingness to listen and obey God’s call. He humbly placed himself before the Lord, ready to do His will.

Like Samuel, we are called by God in our own time and place. He calls us by name, knows every detail of our lives, and has a specific plan for each of us. He calls us to a life of communion with Him, to a life of holiness and service.

In the Second Reading, the apostle Paul reminds us that we have been bought at a high price, the price of Jesus’ blood. We are temples of the Holy Spirit, and our bodies do not belong to us but to God. Paul challenges us to glorify God in our bodies, to live a life worthy of His call.

This personal call from God is also present in today’s Gospel. We see Jesus walking along the Jordan River when two disciples of John the Baptist follow him. Jesus turns to them and asks, “What are you looking for?” They respond, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Jesus then invites them, “Come and see.”

These two disciples, Andrew and an unnamed disciple, had the opportunity to spend time with Jesus, to know Him personally. They saw where He lived, heard His words, and experienced His presence. And from that experience, they were transformed. Andrew went to seek his brother Simon and said, “We have found the Messiah.”

These biblical passages reveal a profound truth: God calls us individually, knows us by name, and invites us to follow Him. He wants us to know Him personally, to experience His presence, and to be transformed by His love.

But how can we respond to this call in our everyday lives? How can we live a life that glorifies God and testifies to His presence in us?

First, we need to be willing to listen to God’s voice. Like Samuel, we need to be silent before God, open our hearts, and listen to His voice speaking to us through His Word, prayer, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We need to pay attention to the signs He gives us in our daily lives.

Second, we need to respond to God’s call with willingness and humility. Like Samuel, we need to say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” We need to be willing to do His will, even if it means stepping out of our comfort zone, relinquishing our own desires, and following His paths.

Third, we need to follow the example of the disciples in the Gospel and spend time with Jesus. This means seeking a personal relationship with Him through reading the Bible, participating in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and constant prayer. We need to cultivate an intimate relationship with Jesus, getting to know Him more and allowing Him to transform our lives.

Additionally, we must remember that we are temples of the Holy Spirit. Our life and our body do not belong to us but are sacred gifts given by God. Therefore, we should take care of our bodies and use our gifts and talents for the glory of God. We should live a life of purity and holiness, avoiding all forms of immorality and sin.

Brothers and sisters, how does this message apply to us today? How can we put these principles into practice in our daily lives?

First and foremost, I invite each of you to set aside time every day to be in silence before God. Turn off the noise around you, find a quiet place, and open your heart to hear God’s voice. Allow Him to speak to you through His Word and the silence of your heart.

Secondly, I challenge you to respond to God’s call with willingness and humility. Be willing to say “yes” to Him, even when it seems difficult or uncomfortable. Remember that He has a perfect plan for your lives, and trust in Him.

Thirdly, encourage each other to spend time with Jesus. Participate together in reading the Bible, prayer groups, and moments of worship. Share your experiences of faith and testify to God’s presence in your lives.

Finally, remember that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Take care of your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Avoid anything that may tarnish the purity of your bodies and seek virtue in all areas of your lives.

Dear brothers and sisters, may today’s message inspire us to live a life of intimacy with God, to respond generously to His call, and to take care of the precious gifts He has given us. May we always remember that we have been called by name, known by God, and loved beyond measure. May the grace and divine love accompany us on our journey of faith. Amen.

Let us pray:

Loving Father, we thank you for calling us by name and inviting us into a personal relationship with you. Help us to hear your voice in our daily lives and to respond with readiness and humility. Grant us the grace to spend time with you, getting to know you more and allowing you to transform us. Help us to take care of our bodies and to live a life worthy of your call. May your Holy Spirit guide and strengthen us on our journey of faith. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.