Gospel For Today


Today's readings are about doing the will of God.  The first reading from 1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19, tells us the story of the prophet Samuel, when he was a young boy, hearing the call of God.  Three times Samuel heard a call at night, and three times he went to Eli, the priest who was responsible for Samuel's formation.  "Here I am.  You called me," Samuel said.  "I did not call you," Eli said, "Go back to sleep."  The third time, Eli discerned that it was the Lord's call that Samuel heard, and so instructed him that if he heard the call again, to reply, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."
The same theme is echoed in the psalm response: "Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will."  The verses are from Psalm 40.  They speak of the fact that God wants more than our "offerings."  He wants nothing less than ourselves.  "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.'"
Today's gospel reading is John 1:35-42, and recounts how Andrew discovered that Jesus was the Messiah, and told his brother Cephas (Peter), and how they both came to Jesus.  Their response to encountering Jesus was in effect to say "Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will."  
This is all well and good, but what does it mean?  Being ready to do the will of God means that we make a total gift of ourselves to Him.  It means recognizing the fact that we do not belong to ourselves any longer; we belong to Christ.  St. Paul tells us in our second reading today, "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" (1 Cor 6:17-20).
When we give ourselves to God, and realize that we are members of His body, it should give us pause when we consider doing something that we know we ought not to do.  For if we are joined with Christ, then when we sin, we do not just sin in ourselves, but we involve Christ in our immorality.  We in effect commit sacrilege every time we sin.  This is the message St. Paul is telling us.  Our bodies are temples.  We must not spoil them.  
The upside to this, of course, is that when we perform good actions, we do so as members of Christ's body.  And whereas you and I on our own may only be capable of performing good acts on a natural level, with Christ those actions become infused with supernatural grace, won at the price of the Cross.  Thus we are able, by giving ourselves over to God's will, of achieving wonderful heights of joy and holiness.  
Ultimately this is God's will for us.  God wills us to be happy.  He created us out of love, and we are made for joy.  He did not make us for His sake, but for our own, so that we may share in and know His goodness.  We are meant for happiness.  If we listen to the call of God, if we can say – and truly mean it – "Lord, I want to do your will," we will become what God created us to be.  We will be truly happy.

WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723