During Ordinary Time, we move back into the mode of continuous readings of the various Scriptures. So it is that we begin reading the First Book of Samuel, the first of the historical books of the Hebrew Scriptures, and the Gospel of Mark. We will continue to read from the history books and the Gospel of Mark for the next five weeks. That will bring us almost to the brink of Lent.
In the Gospel we hear of the call of the first disciples. Later on they will be named apostles. I am sure that at some time or another you have been asked to tell your “vocation” story. By relating how it is that we came to our present state of life, we are able to see God’s hand in our lives. In the case of Peter, Andrew, James and John, they follow an impressive man. They choose to associate with Jesus of Nazareth. As soon as they leave their nets, they are plunged into the drama that ensues when Jesus begins to proclaim that God’s reign is near.
The first chapters of the Book of Samuel also tell us of a call. We begin with the infancy narrative of Samuel. That story bears a remarkable similarity to the infancy narrative of John the Baptist and of Jesus. Like Elizabeth and Mary, Hannah should not be having a child. God has acted in her life.
There are those who say that if our world was created by a benevolent God, then God must have lost interest in the world because it so full of darkness and disaster. Yet both of these stories tell us differently. God is still present in our world. It is God who acts to call men and women to holiness through their vocation to consecrated life or to the priesthood or to married life. It is Jesus whom we follow, not some abstract theological principles that we cull from dusty tomes. God’s reign is established through human history.
As we enter Ordinary Time, we might benefit today by recalling our own call. By recalling how God led us to the place in which we find ourselves, we can once again come to realize that God is very much present and active in our lives.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator