Livonia, Michigan

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time


When Samuel hears the Lord speak in today’s first reading, he mistakes it as Eli calling out to him in the temple. The third time Samuel asks if he called, Eli is wise enough to realize what is going on and guides Samuel: “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” Samuel required guidance because he “was not familiar with the Lord, because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet.” In a similar way does the Apostle Andrew come to the Lord. In today’s Gospel, Andrew didn’t know who Jesus was until John the Baptist told him: “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Andrew then began to follow Jesus, and to bring others to him. There may be times when we, like both of these men, need someone else to help us hear the call of the Lord clearly, or see his presence among us. Those who serve the Lord in this way are a great gift to us and enable us to be that gift for others. Pray for the grace to hear what we need to hear, to see what we need to see, and to say to others, “come, we have found the Messiah.”


Despite our best efforts, the time and attention we give to our lives of faith can ebb and flow. Sometimes we can feel so connected with God that we sense his presence everywhere. But there may also be times when God feels distant, and we struggle to hear his voice. Notice in today’s readings how Samuel “was not familiar with the Lord” but was sleeping in the temple, close to the ark; notice how Andrew was hanging around John the Baptist and immediately followed Christ when told who he was. We can see that, already before “knowing,” is a “desire to know.” The Lord created us, formed us into being, and calls us to a relationship with him. We are drawn to him even before we can see or know what he has revealed to us. He is our source, and our ultimate end. We seek eternal life with Christ and a path of holiness to help us on our way. The stories of Samuel and the disciple Andrew impress upon us that God is always near and calling to us – we simply must give him the opportunity to speak, sometimes when we least expect it.


We are all called to a life of holiness. But it’s not always easy to grow in holiness and strengthen one’s relationship with God on our own. Consider reaching out to your parish and asking about spiritual direction – a spiritual director will help you fine tune your ears to be more attentive to the Lord’s voice.