January 17, 2021
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19
Psalm 40
1 Corinthians 6: 13c-15a, 17-20
John 1: 35-42

In Stewardship
We Give Glory to God Who Gives Us Purpose.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Found His Purpose
And as a Good Steward of the Gifts He Was Given Served God
and Gave Up His Earthly Life.

Saint Paul is the one who teaches us in 1 Corinthians 6 our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are made for the Lord. We give glory to the Lord with our lives. All praise goes to him. We exist because of his love and we love him because we are aware of his goodness.

God directs each of us to the Good. He directs us to happiness. And happiness means obtaining our good End. There is a way that is best for us to live, a way in life. The way particular to each of us is what we call our vocation. That is, a calling.

Today's readings are all about vocation. They scream it.

Samuel repeatedly hears a voice in his dreams that calls him. As the story goes Samuel runs to his elder, Eli, thinking he is the one who is calling him. With his life's experience, Eli recognizes it is God who is calling the youth. Eli instructs Samuel to say to the voice, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening". And so Samuel does this. The Lord works his power through Samuel for his entire life. As it says, "Samuel grew up, and the Lord was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect."

Continuing with today's scriptures the psalmist pleads for God to give him direction. By praying Palm 40 we do the same today. "I have waited for the Lord…. And he put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God." We ask for direction from the Lord and he gives us a new direction. He gives us a new song to sing! Furthermore, the psalm says, "I announced your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, O Lord, know."

Finally, in John's Gospel disciples of John the Baptist leave him to follow Jesus. They find a new purpose in life. Jesus redirects their lives. This redirection is noted in that Jesus renames Simon to Cephas, or Rock or Peter. This foretold the purpose the man would have in the future. He would be the man Jesus would use as the foundation of his Church and he too would die for the Gospel.

Martin Luther King, Jr., who's memorial our nation celebrates this week, found his purpose in God's direction for him. As John Lewis tells it in his book, Across That Bridge, King recognized he needed to be prepared to serve the Lord well. He sought greater education than the other preachers he was aware of. He intensified his prayer life to match his studies. Martin saw the need to be well founded in order to fulfill his purpose. He was a man of reason and faith who had great talent that must be used.

Martin Luther King, Jr's purpose was to lead all people to a greater equality because all are equal in dignity. No group of people and no one person may be discriminated against. He had to do more than preach words. All people must recognize God created all people with the same dignity. Thus, no one was lower or higher than the other in value or worth. Discrimination against any one person denigrated the one who discriminated against the other. To lift oneself up at the cost of the freedom of another is a sin. But all humankind is better than that. He did not seek to reverse discrimination and make Black folks better than others.

King and all who followed his leadership trusted through faith God who created all with dignity. He said in his 1963 March on Washington speech, "Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force."

John Lewis explains soul force is the way to counter the force of injustice. It is fearlessness. In faith one's soul is connected to the greatest force that is God. Lewis explains the force and fear aggressors use on those working for Justice are mere tools to make people doubt their capacity to overcome oppression and injustice. The Love of God not only protects the just but permits the just one to ultimately prevail. It is our human nature to defend what we accept as the Truth. It is not human nature to do evil and wrong.

One must keep good Stewardship of soul force since it is a gift of God, that is Grace. Again, Martin Luther King, Jr. says, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." We must work toward the policies and acts performed in our society that bring about the Peace we always pray for. As it is said by the Church, "If you want Peace work for Justice." It is not enough to pray for Peace. What is due to each person because of the dignity of each person must be obtained by mutual effort by all in the community.

King used the education he achieved to develop a group of people to work for justice. First, he identified just what the elements of a just system are. Then a system to bring about the necessary elements that connote Justice was designed. Further, recruitment of workers for the cause of Justice was done. Then they were educated, trained, and formed to be nonviolent actors based on Gospel values. And finally, carefully planned protests were implemented with each protest pointing to a constructive end. All along the way the soul force was present.

The road was difficult for Dr. King and all who participated in the cause. Ultimately King gave up his earthly life. In view of that he is recognized to be among Christian Martyrs by the Roman Catholic Church. He found his purpose in the name of Jesus Christ and worked for God's Justice for all people. King knew all along he might have to give up his life and he did.

As we renew our commitment to Stewardship at Blessed Sacrament Parish there is much to reflect on. What purpose do you have in life with respect to the Lord? Do not be afraid to do God's will. Doing God's will, will bring your soul force. Your eternal life will be protected.

So, give glory to God who has given you your dignity. Serve God and his people. You will find eternal life.

Fr. Bob

Devine Mercy Chaplet

Prayer for this Time of Challenge
(From the Divine Mercy Chaplet)

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a font of mercy for us, I trust in You!

(Repeat this three times every now and then during the day to settle your heart and soul.)

Scripture Sharing

Take some time and familiar yourself with this coming weekends Scripture Readings.

Click below.

Weeks Readings

January 17, 2021
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19;Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10;1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20;Jn 1:35-42

Reading I 1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19

Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD
where the ark of God was.
The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.”
Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.”
“I did not call you, “ Eli said. “Go back to sleep.”
So he went back to sleep.
Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli.
“Here I am, “ he said. “You called me.”
But Eli answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.”

At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD, because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet. The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.” Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth. So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the LORD came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10

R. (8a and 9a) Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or offering you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

Reading 2 1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20

Brothers and sisters:
The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord,
and the Lord is for the body;
God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?
But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him.
Avoid immorality.
Every other sin 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,
whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been purchased at a price.
Therefore glorify God in your body.

Alleluia Jn 1:41, 17b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We have found the Messiah:
Jesus Christ, who brings us truth and grace. R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 1:35-42

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” — which translated means Teacher —,
“where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”
So they went and saw where Jesus was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
“We have found the Messiah” — which is translated Christ —.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
“You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas” — which is translated Peter.

Next Weeks Readings

January 24, 2021
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jon 3:1-5, 10, 19;Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9;1 1 Cor 7:29-31;Mk 1:14-20