Sunday 17 January Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Sunday Church at Home

during lockdown in the Coronavirus Pandemic

 

 

How did we arrive at Christ?

 

The lay leader makes the sign of the cross, saying:

 

Leader:          In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

 

All reply:       Amen

 

Leader:          Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

All reply:       Blessed be God for ever

 

Leader:         In today’s Gospel, Jesus invites Andrew and his companion to come to his home and spend time with him. We gather today also in response to his invitation to be with him and to deepen our relationship with him.

 

 

 

LITURGY OF THE WORD

 

First Reading: 1 Samuel 3:3b-10.19

 

Introduction to the reading: Today’s reading takes place 11 centuries before Christ at an Israelite shrine, which is referred to as a “temple” in the text.  At the shrine was the “Ark of God”, a wooden chest overlaid by gold in which the 10 Commandments were kept.  Eli was the high priest at the shrine.  Samuel was a young man in Eli’s service.  We will hear how God called Samuel to be a prophetic leader of Israel.

 

A reading from the First Book of Samuel

In those days:
Samuel was lying down within the temple of the Lord,
where the ark of God was.
Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!”
and he said, “Here I am!”
and ran to Eli, and said,
“Here I am, for you called me.”
But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.”

So he went and lay down.
And the Lord called again, “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; lie down again.”

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord,
and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
And the Lord called Samuel again 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 forth,
calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”

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

The word of the Lord.

 

 

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 40:2 and 4ab,7-8a.8b-9.10 (R. cf. 8a and 9a)

 

R/. See, I have come, Lord, to do your will.

I waited, I waited for the Lord,
and he stooped down to me;
he heard my cry.
He put a new song into my mouth,
praise of our God.

You delight not in sacrifice and offerings,
but in an open ear.
You do not ask for holocaust and victim.
Then I said, “See, I have come.”

In the scroll of the book it stands written of me:
“I delight to do your will, O my God;
your instruction lies deep within me.”

Your justice I have proclaimed
in the great assembly.
My lips I have not sealed;
you know it, O Lord.

R/. See, I have come, Lord, to do your will.

 

Second reading: 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a.17-20

Introduction to the reading: Today and for the next few Sundays, our second reading will from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians.  Corinth, a port city in ancient Greece, was noted for its widespread immorality.  Anything and everything was thought permissible.  Paul doesn’t counter this attitude by putting down the human body as evil or of little worth.  Rather, he does just the opposite.

 

A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians.

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

But he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
Shun immorality.
Every other sin which a person commits is outside the body;
but the immoral person sins against his own body.
Do you not know that your body
is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you,
which you have from God?
You are not your own;
you were bought with a price.
So glorify God in your body.

The word of the Lord.

 

Alleluia, alleluia.
We have found the Messiah, who is Christ; grace and truth came through him.

Alleluia!

 

Gospel: John 1:35-42

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

At that time:
John (the Baptiser) was standing with two of his disciples;
and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God!”
The two disciples heard him say this,
and they followed Jesus.

Jesus turned, and saw them following,
and said to them, “What do you seek?”

And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher),
“where are you staying?”

He said to them, “Come and see.”

They came and saw where he was staying;
and they stayed with him that day,
for it was about the tenth hour.
One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him,
was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
He first found his brother Simon, and said to him,
“We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).
He brought him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him, and said,
“So you are Simon the son of John?
You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

 

The Gospel of the Lord.

 

Reflection on the Readings

The leader reads the text prepared by the priest and leads the sharing.

 

Homily prepared by Fr Keith

St. John reminds us today that the word “rabbi” means “teacher.”

This got me thinking of my primary school days when teachers were a major part of my life: two English teachers in particular.

There was Mrs W who taught me English in Standard 5 – which is Grade 7 today. I remember her as having a sharp pointy face with short dark hair .One day in class she gave us a task for homework. At home we were to look up Psalm 100 in the Bible and memorize it. So I found Psalm 100 in the Bible we had at home. It was the Douay-Rheims translation and I managed to memorize about half of the 24 lines of the Psalm. At school the next day, when I started reciting what I had learnt, she abruptly stopped me and told me I had the wrong psalm. What filled me with injustice and anger was that she would not even look at the Bible I had. She just said that I was wrong and to go away. It was only much later that I worked out that she had a Protestant Bible which has different numbering for the psalms.

In contrast, my English teacher in Grade 5 – Mrs McKenzie  – was a wonderful teacher and I flourished under her. That year I won a prize for English. I look back on her class many years ago with nostalgia, but also with gratitude because a great teacher is so inspiring.

There are teachers in John’s Gospel.

John the Baptiser is one of them and, as any good teacher, he has devoted and admiring disciples. They were impressed by him. But when Jesus walked by, John pointed out Jesus to his students, “Behold the Lamb of God.”

For John’s disciples the image of the Lamb of God would have stirred their imagination. They would think of the time when the Hebrews were slaves in Egypt and during the last plague, they marked the doors of their houses with the blood of a lamb, and their firstborn children did not die. In remembrance of that liberation, a lamb was sacrificed and eaten each year at the Passover meal. So, John’s disciples moved from one teacher to follow another, who would stir their imaginations and change their lives

In the other Gospels, Jesus himself chooses and calls his future disciples.

In the Gospel of John however, these potential disciples are seekers who come to Jesus looking for nourishment and guidance. What exactly do they want? Well, that is what Jesus wants to know, “What are you looking for?” It is a question he repeatedly asks us each day, as we: make both large and small choices based on our priorities; respond to one another; gather for mass when we can; look for inspirational books to read, or movies to watch during our isolation, etc.

“What are you looking for?

The isolation many of us are experiencing these days has limited us in so many ways. But let’s hope it has also given us time to catch our breath, pause and consider who and where we are in our lives right now. Jesus’ question to his disciples makes a good place to begin our introspection: “What are you looking for?” How do our daily lives reflect the answer we are giving to that probing question?

The disciples answer with a seeming-bland response. “Rabbi, (remember the name means “teacher”) where are you staying?” In other words, “Rabbi, where do you live? There are layers of meaning to their question. They could be asking, “Where do you have life?” Or, “Where does your life come from?”

Aren’t we like those disciples?

Isn’t there a hunger in us for a life that only he can give us? And, it is not just about the next life. It is life here and now: deep life; a life with purpose and meaning; a life that won’t wear out, or disappoint us; a life no credit card can purchase; a life that travels with us each stage of our lives. The question John’s disciples put to Jesus is ours, “Rabbi, where do you live?” It is also our prayer as well, as we realize a hunger that only he can satisfy.

We ask Jesus, “Where can we find your life?”

At this moment he points to where we are right now: Gathered at the Bread of the Word in our homes, while we yearn to be in church for the Bread of the Eucharist. And says, “Come and you will see.” Then he points outside and adds, “You will also find my life where I have shown you: among the least; in all the human community; in receiving and offering words of forgiveness; in the fruits of the earth; indeed, in all of creation.

In our first reading Samuel is serving the Lord in the Temple. This was not the great Temple in Jerusalem which was not to be built for another hundred years. This temple was in a shrine on the top of a holy mountain. He has been there since his mother Hannah placed him there as an infant (1 Sam 1:24-28). He now receives a call from God that will draw him out of the confined and safe Temple precincts into the world – the way Jesus invited John’s disciples to, “Come and you will see.”

Samuel will become God’s prophet out in the turbulent world. He will confront rulers and ordinary folk, as well, and challenge them with God’s Word. Samuel did not receive any dramatic notice to be God’s prophet. Instead, he heard a voice in the middle of the night that awakened him from sleep, drew him from his safe environment and reset his life.

Which makes us ask: Is God calling me, in the midst of my daily routine to a new task – large or small – in God’s service?

Hearing and responding to God’s invitation is not only life-changing, but risky. But the new prophet is assured that the Lord is with him. So it is for us, called forth to be God’s spokespersons – risky but, as with Samuel, the Lord is with us.

From today’s reading from the Book of Samuel:

When Samuel went to sleep in his place,

the Lord came and revealed his presence,

calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel.”

Reflection:

Samuel did not receive any dramatic notice to be God’s prophet. Instead, he heard a voice in the middle of the night that awakened him from sleep and his safe environment and reset his life.

So we ask ourselves:

  • Is God calling me, in the midst of my daily routine, to a new task – large or small – in God’s service?
  • How is God’s Word stretching me and calling for a response?
  • What might that response be?

 

 

Prayer of the Faithful

 

Leader:          We entrust our needs and the needs of our world to God’s tender mercy.

 

Reader:

We pray for the Church: (pause) that we may be an open and listening people, who both proclaim and live out the justice and compassion of our God.

LORD HEAR US

 

We pray for the government of South Africa: (pause) that they may truly hear the cry of those who are poor.

LORD HEAR US

 

We pray for all who are discerning their life’s calling: (pause) that they, like Samuel, may say: “Speak Lord, your servant is listening” and offer their gifts and talents for the glory of God and the service of others.

LORD HEAR US

 

We pray for ourselves: (pause) that we may be committed to spending time each day with the Lord in prayer, and that our listening to the Lord will make us more sensitive to the needs of our neighbour.

LORD HEAR US

 

We pray for a successful vaccination program: (pause) that God will make effective the available vaccines, guide those distributing and administering them, and open pathways for their distribution in South Africa.

LORD HEAR US

 

We pray for deceased members of our families and friends whose anniversaries occur about this time, especially for Anthony Jacquet and Brenda Lauder.

LORD HEAR US

 

We pray for Stephen Muller and Krysha Sidiropoulos, who died during the week.

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord.

And let perpetual light shine on them.

May they rest in peace.  Amen.

 

Leader:          Let us pray for healing:

 

Gracious God,

We give thanks anew for your providence and presence.

We prayerfully seek your grace, amidst the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa.

We pray for those in need of healing.

We pray for your peace with those who are anxious or grieving.

We pray you will continue to strengthen and sustain all those who are serving in response.

We pray for your Holy Spirit’s discernment amidst the many choices and decisions facing our national, community and medical leaders.

We pray for those not working, for all who are struggling to find their next meal.

We pray we each might see quickly what more we can do to help those who are vulnerable.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.

 

Holy Mary, health of the sick, pray for us.
St Joseph, guardian of us all, pray for us.

 

 

Spiritual Communion

We can unite ourselves to the Eucharist through making a spiritual Communion.

By making an Act of Spiritual Communion, we express our faith in Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist and ask him to unite himself with us.

 

My Jesus, I believe you are really here in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love you more than anything in the world, and I hunger to receive you.
But since I cannot receive Communion at this moment, feed my soul at least spiritually. I unite myself to you now as I do when I actually receive you. Amen.

 

 

CONCLUDING RITE

 

Leader:          Let us pray to the Father in the words Jesus our Saviour gave us:

 

All say:          Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen.

Leader:           From our earliest days, O God,
you call us by name.
Make our ears attentive to your voice,
our spirits eager to respond,
that, having heard you in Jesus your anointed one,
we may draw others to be his disciples.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.

.

 

 

Blessing

 

A leader who is a layperson, using no gesture, says:

 

Leader:          May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.

 

All:                 Amen.