17 January 2015

HEEDING GOD’S CALL

II SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
1 samuel 3:3b-10, 19; 1 corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20; john 1:35-43

one evening a professor sat at his desk to sort his mail. as he began to discard unwanted stuff, a magazine—delivered to him by mistake—fell open to an article titled: «the needs of the congo mission.»
he began reading it; and these words gripped him: «the need is great here. we have no one to work in the northern province of gabon in the congo. it is my prayer that GOD will lay his hand on one—on whom the master’s eyes already rest—and that he or she will answer the call to help us.»
the professor closed the magazine and wrote in his diary: «my search is over.» and albert schweitzer gave himself to the congo. 

schweitzer got his life’s calling after he «happened» to read an article which was not even his! people get their call in unique ways… as today’s readings attest.
GOD called samuel directly. john the baptist pointed out JESUS to two of his disciples, and JESUS invited them to «come and see». andrew told simon that they had found the messiah. samuel, andrew, simon. three unique people. three unique call stories.

there are, however, elements common to each call story: 
- listening: GOD has a plan for each of us, and he calls us. we need to listen for his call which comes through people; through books/articles and talks; through life-events… we do not know how he will call us. one thing is certain: he will surprise us!
- understanding: we need to understand what we have heard. we need guidance. eli helped samuel to understand that the voice he heard was GOD’s; john indicated the way to his two disciples.
- responding: we need to put our hands up and say: «here i am…» 
- abiding: samuel remained in the LORD’s temple; andrew and the other disciple remained with JESUS two days. discipleship is primarily remaining with the master.

GOD continues to call people.
can i hear GOD calling me? am i open to his unexpected ways of calling? will i listen to his call, seek guidance to understand it, respond to it and abide with him?