Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: January 17, 2021
SLEEP ON IT (1 Samuel 3:3b–10, 19)
Sleep on it. It may be clearer in the morning.
Many of the problems that seem unsolvable by day disintegrate with the dawn. It’s almost as if God speaks to us when we sleep.
It happened to Samuel. Even while he was a young child, Samuel heard the voice of God calling him. But he did not know that it was God. He told Eli the priest. Eli did not know that it was God.
Not until God spoke for the third time did Eli figure out the mystery. God was speaking to Samuel in his sleep.
Eli gave Samuel some very simple advice: Listen. If God is trying to speak to you, listen. Tell God you are listening.
Too often our world is cluttered with unnecessary noise. We leave the television on when no one is watching. We turn on the radio behind our conversation with a friend. We disturb our neighbors by playing music loudly in public or using car horns instead of doorbells. Sometimes we create so much noise it is hard to sleep.
What do you do when God is trying to speak to you? Follow Eli’s advice. Listen.
BEAUTIFUL BODIES (1 Corinthians 6:13c–15a, 17–20)
The human body is a beautiful thing to behold. It is good to appreciate beauty, as long as we do not lust after it. Beauty delights the eye and warms the heart. It can lead our thoughts to God or it can lead our own bodies to sin.
Paul expressed these concerns to the Corinthians. “The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord.” Our bodies are members of Christ, Paul says, and should be treated as such. “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you.” Because we have been baptized, we are the body of Christ, and the Holy Spirit dwells within us. We should treat the human body with the reverence we give a church, a temple, or another holy place. It shares life with God. The body is where the Spirit dwells.
This is the farthest thing from our minds when our thoughts turn lustful. All we can think of is the immoral use of a beautiful body. But God made these bodies for another purpose.
With our bodies we can praise God, reach out in charity to a neighbor, serve the needy, and preach the Gospel. With our bodies we can express our intimate love with the person chosen as a partner for life.
Our bodies can do much good, but they are tempted by much evil. Paul’s advice is simple: “Glorify God in your body.”
Reflections: Lectionary Bulletin Inserts: Reflections on the First and Second Readings, Year B© 2019 Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications. All rights reserved. Written by Paul Turner. Lectionary for Mass © 2001, CCD.