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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, Jan. 15, 2012

By Jean Denton
Catholic News Service

January 15, Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle B Readings:

1) 1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19

Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-10

2) 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20

Gospel: John 1:35-42

The story of God's call to Samuel in this week's readings mentions that when he first heard God's voice, Samuel "was not familiar with the Lord, because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet." But once he entered God's presence, Samuel stayed with God and was forever under his guidance.

The Gospel tells the same story with the disciples first recognizing Jesus and then choosing to stay with him. In staying they came to know him and to belong to him.

That process of being called, responding openly and being enfolded into the life of Christ by a desire to stay is the truth of conversion. It happens in real life. It's predictable.

Jim Albright has been a social minister his whole adult life. He sometimes takes small groups of college students to a migrant farm workers camp near Virginia's Eastern Shore where, for a few long days, they live with the workers and join them in the fields picking tomatoes.

Jim knows such an "immersion" experience is one of the most effective ways to make someone a believer in social justice. Add prayer and the word of God in Scripture and you are likely to inspire a number of participants to a lifetime of involvement in social justice ministry.

"People need that experience of coming in contact, for instance with the migrant farm workers, to understand their life and situation," Jim explained. "It raises questions and, when they go to Scripture, it sustains them and forms them for action."

They hear God, become familiar and stay because they desire to be part of God's life.

That's how it was for Samuel. That's how it was for Jesus' first disciples.

That's how it is for us when we listen for God's call and respond with openness. If we choose to stay with him, Jesus will sustain us and form our actions according to his way.


When and how have you experienced Jesus' call recently? How did you respond and what did God reveal to you? How was your life changed?


"So they went and saw where Jesus was staying, and they stayed with him that day" (John 1:39).


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