(2nd Ordinary Sunday: 1 Samuel 3:3-19; 1 Corinthians 6:13-20; John 1:35-42)
Do you have a title? La Salette Missionaries write MS after their name, and the La Salette Sisters SNDS. Some of you, our readers, surely have academic titles, or wear a name tag indicating your role and status in your place of work.
In the Bible, names often serve this purpose. Jesus tells Simon, “You will be called Cephas,” which means Peter and defines his role, his vocation. It would be interesting to speculate what name Jesus might give to each of us. One thing is certain: it would be both a blessing and an obligation.
Take the simple name of disciple, for example. It is a beautiful thing to follow Christ; but the refrain of our life then becomes that of today’s Psalm: “Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.”
This is the submission that the Beautiful Lady calls us to at the very beginning of her discourse.
Sometimes we fail to hear the call or, like Samuel, to understand where it is coming from. It may need to be repeated several times. Another person, like Eli, can help us understand what is happening.
If we accept one or both of the titles given us by Our Lady of La Salette—”my children, my people”—we may reasonably be expected to honor her by living accordingly and carrying out the great mission she has given us.
St. Paul proposes two less obvious names for believers: “temple of the Holy Spirit,” and “purchased at a price.” He draws the connection to the moral code that distinguished the Christians from the rest of Corinthian society.
Once we have recognized and accepted our vocation, it reveals itself constantly. Andrew said to Simon, “We have found the Messiah!” The truth of that statement resonated in their hearts and minds for the rest of their days.
For us, this is especially true of the Eucharist. In the Liturgy of the word we say in our hearts, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” At the altar we remember the great price Jesus paid to save us. Where else can we be more conscious of being built into the temple of the Holy Spirit? There we draw the strength we need to live our Christian name and title.
Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.