Made children of God, members of Christ’s Body by the virtue of our baptism into his life, death and resurrection, does not guarantee that we have nothing more to do. It is only the beginning. The life of baptism is a constant struggle through life. We must always continue to listen to the voice of God, who calls us to our vocation in Christ. To be a disciple means to be a perpetual student of the Master, the teacher. What that means is that, he reveals to us specifics of what we are to be doing as he leads us on, along the journey of life, until we enter finally into his kingdom. Listening and discernment is not personal, it takes a communal effort, involving God, the person, and the holy Church.
This is very evident in the call of Samuel in our Old Testament reading today. Dedicated to the service of the Lord in the temple at Shiloh, serving under Eli, the priest, Samuel was called by God when revelation of the Lord was uncommon and vision infrequent. He was sleeping in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was, when God pronounced his name. Each time God called him, he answered and ran to Eli, until Eli realized that God was calling him and directed him on what to say. Called again, he followed the instruction of Eli and said: “speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” After receiving the revelation, which Eli made him to reveal to him in the morning, Samuel grew up, and the Lord was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect.
One of the things, we learn from here is that, one who is called may not easily recognize the voice of God. Samuel had to be called four times before he realized, with the help of Eli that the Lord wanted to tell him something. Applied to ourselves, in the midst of so many voices around us, it will be difficult for us in the same way, to discern which one is the voice, coming from on high. God is not deterred by our deafness, he keeps on insisting until a person listens to his message. We need spiritual guides or directors, lives of the saints, the scriptures, Catholic inspirational guides, and many more. Each person needs to find himself or herself in the scriptural models of faith, and be helped by devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the first among Christ’s disciples.
The first two disciples of Jesus Christ, were formerly disciples of John the Baptist who were with him at Bethany across the Jordan. When they heard the testimony of their master, John, pointing out Jesus as he was walking by, that he is the Lamb of God. The two disciples left John and followed Jesus. When Jesus turned around and noticed them following him, he asked them, “What are you looking for?” Their reply was: “Rabbi where do you stay?” Jesus invited them to “come and see.” This is the story of vocation and discernment. They went to see where he lodged, and stayed with him that day. Having experienced who he is and what he stands for, one of them Andrew, went to bring his brother Simon Peter to Jesus, whom he experienced as the Messiah. Jesus looked at him and identified him as Simon, son of John, and told him that his name shall be Cephas meaning Peter. The other disciple Philip will bring Nathaniel to Jesus as well.
The life of discipleship demands a radical change in every aspect, resulting to repentance, conversion, complete transformation. It requires abandoning our own ways and accepting the ways of the Master, whose disciples we have become by baptism. As a true disciple of Christ, St. Paul shares his experiences with us and tells us that the body is not for immorality; it is for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. What he shares with us today is a baptismal mystery that God, who raised up the Lord, will raise us also by his power. By this fact, our bodies are members of Christ. Joined with Christ in baptism, we become one spirit with him. Our moral foundation now is based on the fact that our body is now the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is within. Through the Spirit we have received, we are no longer our own, but we have been purchased to glorify God in our body.