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Pastor's Letter 20240114 - 14 January 2024 - 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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January 14th, 2024

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time


“Come, and you will See"

A Message from Father Michael

Today’s Theme:  “God’s Call and Our Response”

Reflections on Today’s Scripture

(1 Samuel 3:3-10:19)  Samuel’s role as prophet was very important in the history of Israel.  Like an echo that resounds in the hearts of kindred spirits, the Lord’s call touches the community through the individual; and the individual in the community.  Mercifully, He calls again and again, until we learn to recognize His voice.  Willingness to serve is a predisposition necessary to recognize God’s call to greater service.


(1 Corinthians 6:13-20)  Paul tells us our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.  We must appreciate them for the glory of God, not for sin.  It is our whole being that is called to be a disciple for the Lord.  Morality is not based on law or precepts, but on the dignity each person enjoys because of Jesus and His redemptive mission.


(John 1:35-42)  John tells the story of call of the first disciples.  We are called, one-by-one, and in our response, we find unison and companionship with one another, in Him.  Bringing others to recognizes and to follow Jesus is a vital aspect of discipleship.


God’s Call

It’s anyone’s guess in what way a person’s fate—call—makes itself heard.  It may be that we believe we will hear God calling us, directly, as Samuel did, in our First Reading, today.  In such a case, we might hear what we are supposed to do, in particular, as a singular thing.  But often, it’s obvious that choosing a vocation depends on many things.

Great events often begin very simply.  This was how Jesus began His mission.  He looked for a little band of kindred souls, and demanded total commitment from them—and He got it!

God calls all of us, in one way or another, and at many different levels.  He called us into life.  Then, throughout our lives, God continues to call us to a life worthy of our dignity as His children.  At death, God will call us again, from this life, into eternal life 

God’s call can take many forms, and be fulfilled in different ways.  It likely won’t be as dramatic as was the call of Samuel, or as “real” as was that of the first apostles.  Yet He speaks to us in the depths of our hearts, calling us to an intimacy with Him, and to be His co-workers in the world.  Rather than an actual “voice,” His call is likely to be like a “tug” at our hearts, which we feel at quiet and reflective moments.  Sometimes this may make itself felt in a very forceful way, but most times, it’s likely to be as gentle as a breeze.

The call of the disciples is quite significant in our lives, for we were also called into discipleship at our Baptism.  Each of us has some specific work to do for God in the world.  Every vocation is worthy of honor, and every vocation is a call to the fullness of love.

Our Bodies are Temples of the Holy Spirit

No religion takes the body as seriously as does the Christian religion.  The body is not seen as an enemy of the Spirit, or as a prison of the Spirit.  Rather, through Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection, the human body has become part of the life of God.  There is no place in Christianity for contempt of the body, nor is there a place for its worship.

We are God’s creatures, and our bodies are the work of God.  That is reason enough for respecting and caring for them.  Paul goes further, calling the body a “temple of the Holy Spirit,” as we heard in today’s Second Reading.

Today, there is a cult of the body, especially in modeling and advertising—a cult apart from the person.  It normally takes the form of a young and beautiful body.  But this is not respect—but more like exploitation.

There is also a significant interest in physical fitness and health, which is to be welcomed.  But it all must be kept in perspective.  Bodily health shouldn’t result in neglect of the soul.  

The Church respects the body from the beginning of life to the end—from its first inception to the death of an elderly person.  At Baptism, water pours over the body, and it is anointed not once, but twice.  The body is adorned with a white robe.  At the end of life, it again is anointed, blessed and shrouded in white.  Even when lifeless, the body is still considered sacred.  

The Church regards the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit, the same as that body in which our Blessed Lord was incarnated.  He lived, suffered and died in our flesh.  Then, He rose from the dead and was glorified in our flesh.  This is another reason we respect the human body—for we are all destined for eternal glory.

We don’t show respect for our bodies by sins of the flesh, nor by overindulgence in food or drink.  Having more respect for our bodies would go a long way toward reducing social problems, such as addictions, the spread of infectious diseases and teenaged pregnancies.  

May God Richly Bless You!


What Does the Lord Require?.docx

View today's Holy Mass, here:

Edited by Father Michael
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  • Father Michael changed the title to Pastor's Letter 20240114 - 14 January 2024 - 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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