COME AND SEE!
We live in a time of technology. Especially during this pandemic, we use technology to meet and communicate. Cell phones are handy, we can receive calls anywhere. There are so many options on a cell phone. If we have saved someone’s name and/or picture and number of the person, when they call you, it will show us the name and picture of the person calling. So you can recognize the person, and it makes it easy to respond.
How do we recognize God’s call? Last weekend we celebrated the Baptism of the Lord, the inauguration of the new exodus, the heaven was torn open and heard the Father’s voice, “This is My Beloved Son.” Jesus, the Lamb of God, called us in our baptism to be daughters and sons. The reading for this weekend gives us the opportunity to reflect on it.
In the Gospel, John the Baptist with two of his disciples and told them, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” In the Bible, the Lamb is brought to the temple on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:20-22). The Lamb was offered on the altar every morning and evening (Ex 29:38-42; Nm 28:1-8). The Paschal Lamb’s blood saved the firstborn of the Jews (Ex 12:11ss.). Isaiah talks about suffering servant. All this leads to Jesus and John introduces him, as “The Lamb of God.”
The two disciples of John followed Jesus. One of them was Andrew (1:40) and the other should be John the evangelist. Andrew went and got his brother Simon, to whom Jesus said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas” — which is translated, Peter.” Cephas in Aramaic means rock. Jesus is calling Peter to be the rock and in which he is going to build the Church. It's a way of calling him to the fullness of his identity, to fulfill the mission he was created for. Jesus spoke to his heart.
In the first reading, we hear the call of Samuel. The first chapter of first Samuel describes Hannah’s prayer for a child and the birth of Samuel. Elkanah and Hannah dedicated him in his early childhood to God’s service in the Temple at Shiloh, as an apprentice to the priest Eli.
One night, God called Samuel, and Samuel thought it was his master, Eli. Twice Samuel went to Eli, and twice Eli told him to go back to sleep. The third time Eli realized what was going on and told Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” It's so real, so human, so personalized, that Samuel keeps thinking that Eli is the one who's calling him. Eli is someone who knows Samuel, someone Samuel knows, a close companion in life. Samuel was able to confuse God's voice with Eli's shows just how personal and intimate God's offer of friendship was. In Hebrew ‘Shema’ is the word for hearing and listening. Listening is much more than hearing. Samuel listened to God and grew up, and the LORD was with him. God chose young Samuel instead of Eli.
The young Samuel had been called to lead and instruct God’s people and to anoint the Kings of Israel. Andrew, John, and Peter called to follow Jesus, eventually, they will be sent out to the ends of the earth. In these both calls, we can see someone to direct. For Samuel, it was Eli, a priest who trained him and for Andrew and John, it was John the Baptist, who prepared the way for the Lord and Peter, it was his brother Andrew.
We all received a call to follow Jesus. Jesus said to the two disciples, come and see. And they stayed with him the rest of that day. Do we stay with Jesus? In the Eucharist, Jesus breaks and shares with us. He wants to stay with us. Why do we want to stay with him? He wants us to follow him and make his name known and loved.