Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lectio Divina for 15 January 2012

From The American Bible Society:

January 15, 2012

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

This is a reminder to continue in your daily Lectio Divina Scripture reading. We’ve included the content again for you, to make it easier for you to continue to engage with God’s Word.


John 1:35-42 (Good News Translation)

35 The next day John was standing there again with two of his disciples, 36 when he saw Jesus walking by. “There is the Lamb of God!” he said. 37 The two disciples heard him say this and went with Jesus. 38 Jesus turned, saw them following him, and asked, “What are you looking for?” They answered, “Where do you live, Rabbi?” (This word means “Teacher.”) 39 “Come and see,” he answered. (It was then about four o'clock in the afternoon.) So they went with him and saw where he lived, and spent the rest of that day with him. 40 One of them was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 At once he found his brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah.” (This word means “Christ.”) 42 Then he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “Your name is Simon son of John, but you will be called Cephas.” (This is the same as Peter and means “a rock.”)

Other Readings: 1 Samuel 3:3-10, 19; Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10; 1 Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20;

John the Baptist has rightly been called the “Forerunner” of the Lord, as he preceded Jesus and announced his presence in the midst of the people of Israel. And even today, he still performs this mission in our liturgy. We found him on the Second Sunday of Advent, just before the narrative of the birth of the Messiah. We could see him again in the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. And now, we find him inviting his own disciples to set their eyes on “the Lamb of God.” A faithful, humble servant of the Word he was. Surely, it is not easy to accept that one’s mission is that of preparing the way for and proclaiming that the one you announce “must become more important while I become less important” (John 3:30). Today, after a long parenthesis of silence since his birth, we find Jesus starting his ministry. Up to this moment, we know nothing about his years after his pilgrimage to Jerusalem together with his parents. Dark years they must have been, and much has been written guessing about Jesus’ “hidden life.” Putting aside all the idle speculation about that period, what we see is that “the time has come” for Israel to receive their Messiah. The link between the child lying in a manger and the adult rabbi that calls his first disciples is very simple: humility, even to the extent of accepting a baptism of repentance that he, the author of baptism, did not need at all. The motif which attracts our attention both this Sunday and the next is the calling of the first disciples. The way in which John and Mark approach this event in their Gospel accounts is different, but each reflects, nevertheless, a basic concept in the history of Israel. “Election,” “vocation,” “calling,” three different words for the same reality, describe the deepest feeling that Israel has as “the people of God.” From the very beginning, the calling of Abraham: “Leave your country…” (Genesis 12:1), of all the leaders, prophets or important characters in the history of salvation that have responded to God’s calling, none of them has taken the first step to perform any role in the name of God. The words from Hebrews 5:4 are instructive: “No one chooses for himself the honor of being a high priest. It is only by God’s call…” These words can be applied to any person who accepts faith as a calling to a new way of life. Even if we are moved by a deep desire or some sense of looking for an answer to life’s basic questions, it is always God who takes the initiative in the path of faith. In today’s readings, the young Samuel, as well as Jesus’ first disciples, have mixed feelings. They are confused or simply curious about the voice or the figure which comes near them. In any case, all of them react in the right way: “Speak, your servant is listening;” and “They went with him… and spent the rest of the day with him.” Their humble and unconditional acceptance to follow in obedience God’s calling was the turning point towards a new life. After that encounter, the existence of Samuel, like that of Moses, Isaiah, Mary or any other believer, was never the same.


I wonder if any of us has ever felt the “calling” in the same way as Samuel, or the prophets: “Before I was born, the Lord chose me” (Isaiah 49:1), or the apostles: “God in his grace chose me even before I was born, and called me to serve him” (Galatians 1:15). It does not matter. But if I am writing these lines and you are reading them, it is obvious that what has brought us here and makes us share a common faith is not chance, coincidence or our own desire, but God. Are we really conscious of the actions he has taken to bring us close to himself? The first reaction of the disciples is to announce Jesus to their friends or relatives: faith, the Gospel, Jesus himself is the “good news” from God. Are you ready and eager to communicate that message to those around you?


Give thanks to the Lord for he has looked down on you and granted you the gift of his calling. Pray that he will make you listen to his voice and follow him in faithful obedience. Pray for those who look for an answer to their quest for sense: that your witness may be a sign which leads them to the Lord. Pray for those who have received a special “calling” in their life: those who work serving the poor, the sick, the elderly; who have left their family or their country to follow their vocation, that they may feel Jesus close to them and find help and comfort in their difficult mission.


In such a short biblical passage as today’s Gospel, we can find a good number of “titles” for the Lord: “Lamb of God,” “Rabbi” (teacher), “Messiah” (Christ). But if you go further, to the end of the section (John 1:50), you will also find “Son of God,” “King of Israel,” and “Son of Man.” Try to find in them the dimension which reflects best your feelings towards Jesus (his real name!).

Reflections written by Rev. Fr. Mariano PerrĂ³n Director of Inter-Religious Affairs Archdiocese of Madrid, Spain

© 2010 American Bible Society. All Rights Reserved

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