I am pretty sure you have a cell phone. in fact, you may be reading this on your phone right now!
Now, I am pretty sure you have declined a call because you didn’t want to talk to that person calling you.
We have so much in common here: almost all of us have a call phone and at one point in our lies, we have declined a call. Back in the day when I was young and before you were born, there used to be this phone called “land line” which didn’t have a caller ID, so we had to actually pick up the phone to find out who it was calling and to whom she or he wanted to talk. If I didn’t want to talk I would create my own sign language “tell him I’m not here”..
We all know how it feels like when we are called and whether we accept or decline the call. Also, we all know how it feels like when we make a phone call and they reject our call.
The Readings this Second Sunday of Ordinary Time are all about calls: God calls Samuel in the First Reading; in the Psalm we answer God’s call by saying “Here I am Lord” and in the Gospel Jesus calls his first disciples by saying “Come and See.”
But what does God call us for? Or “Who does God call” An answer can be found on the Second Reading.
Saint Paul writes to the Corinthians.
Corinth was an important port city like New York which was the gateway from Greece to Italy and vice versa. There was a lot of trade, restaurants, business, brothels, etc. because there was a heck lot of money in that town; but because of that there were endless accesses to bad things such as vices, promiscuity and even worse things such as selfishness, extreme vanity and indifference.
They say that money corrupts us, divides us and eventually make us end up lonely and alone; this is what happened to Corinth. Yet, despite that, God called them.
God sent Paul to them to remind them that God equally calls everyone; and through Paul God invited them to “sanctify their bodies” reminding them that God’s promises for them can be theirs if they “join God” and “become one spirit with God.”
What does God call us for? Or who does God call? God calls each of us no matter who we are, how we are: with gifts and curses, with mistakes and success, with our without children, with or without hair, with vices and sins, with good humor or being grinches, single, married, divorced, living together…
God calls us all, equally -because God is just and merciful- to do the opposite of what the Corinthians did: to change vices for prudence; promiscuity for respect; selfishness for generosity, vanity for self-acceptance and above all, indifference for solidarity, solidarity especially towards the poor, the rejected by society, the immigrant, the elderly, the sick, etc.
It’s true that we cannot change overnight, but even if we try, if we take a small step, the rest will come, the rest will happen. If we do this, if we accept this call from God, we will become real “temples of the Spirit received from God” for as Saint Paul says we will no longer be “our own because [we] have been purchased at a high price.”
[This is adapted from Fr. Byron Macias' homily for Second Sunday in Ordinary Time].