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Bible Study on the Sunday Readings

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

14 January 2024



Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

The readings for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time are about "Responding to God's Call and Listening to His Word," which is reflected in Samuel's response to God, Paul's teaching on honoring the body as a temple, and the disciples' response to Jesus in the Gospel. 


First Reading: 1 Samuel 3:3-10, 19

This reading from the Book of 1 Samuel tells the story of the young Samuel receiving a call from God while he is in the temple. Initially, Samuel does not recognize the voice as God's, but with guidance, he responds and listens to God's message. This passage highlights the importance of being attentive and receptive to God's call and message.


Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 6:13-20

In this passage from Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he discusses the importance of honoring the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit. He admonishes against immorality and highlights that our bodies belong to God. This reading emphasizes the importance of living following God's will and respecting the sanctity of our bodies as vessels for God's presence.


Gospel: John 1:35-42

The Gospel reading from John depicts the calling of the first disciples by Jesus, starting with John the Baptist's testimony about Jesus being the Lamb of God. Andrew and another disciple follow Jesus, and upon asking Him where He is staying, they begin their journey as His disciples. This reading underscores the idea of responding to the call of Christ and following Him as His disciples.

Just as Samuel responded to God's call (First Reading), Andrew and the other disciples responded to Jesus' call in the Gospel. Both readings emphasize the importance of listening to God's word and being willing to follow His guidance.


Delving Deeper into the Word

The passage introduces the disciples' journey with Jesus and sets the tone for their ongoing Relationship and mission.


The Role of John the Baptist: In this passage, John the Baptist plays a significant role in pointing out Jesus as the "Lamb of God." In the cultural context of the time, John the Baptist was a well-known figure, and his testimony about Jesus carried weight among his followers. John's statement would have been a powerful endorsement of Jesus' identity.


"Lamb of God": The phrase "Lamb of God" has deep cultural and religious significance in Judaism. It alludes to the sacrificial system of the Old Testament, where lambs were offered as atonement for sins. By calling Jesus the "Lamb of God," John is likely indicating Jesus' role as the ultimate sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.


Discipleship: Following a rabbi or teacher was common in Jewish culture. In this passage, Andrew and the other disciples are seen as potential disciples of Jesus. Their question, "Where are you staying?" can be understood as a request to be taught by Him and to establish a deeper relationship.


Prologue of John: The passage is part of the larger context of the Gospel of John, which begins with the poetic prologue (John 1:1-18). The prologue introduces themes of the Word (Logos) becoming flesh, light in the darkness, and the testimony of John the Baptist, all of which are relevant to the passage.


The Number Seven: John uses the number seven symbolically throughout his Gospel. In this passage, it's worth noting that it's the "seventh" day when Andrew and the other disciples encounter Jesus. In biblical literature, seven is often associated with completeness and perfection, and this timing may suggest the completeness of their encounter with the Messiah.


Divine Revelation: John's Gospel emphasizes the divinity of Jesus. When Andrew and the other disciples follow Jesus after John the Baptist's testimony, it underscores the idea that Jesus is not merely a human teacher but the divine Son of God. This passage reveals the unfolding revelation of Jesus' identity.


Discipleship and Relationship: "Where are you staying?" goes beyond a literal inquiry. It symbolizes a desire for a deeper relationship and discipleship. Jesus' response, "Come and see," signifies an invitation for them to intimately experience His teachings and life.


Sacrificial Atonement: The reference to Jesus as the "Lamb of God" foreshadows His sacrificial role in salvation. It connects the Old Testament sacrificial system with the New Testament understanding of Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.


Personal Reflection:

1. Am I actively listening for God's call in my life, as Samuel did in the First Reading? How can I be more attentive to God's voice and respond to His guidance in my daily decisions and actions?


2. How can I honor my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit, as emphasized in the Second Reading? Are there changes I need to make in my lifestyle or choices to respect the sanctity of my body better and live by God's will?


Family Connection:

1. **As a family, how can we collectively create an environment encouraging each member to listen to God's call, just as Samuel did? Can family rituals or practices help us be more attentive to God's guidance in our lives?


2. How can our family collectively honor our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit, as mentioned in the Second Reading? How can we support each other in making choices that reflect respect for our bodies and align with God's will, individually and as a family unit?


Getting to Know Saint Hannibal Mary Di Francia:

(From the Father's Soul, 107-108)



When and how was the Father called to the Rogationist vocation?

Referring to Rogate, he confesses that "the Lord, by his infinite goodness, enlightened him about a great word of the gospel, which contains the secret of the Church's and society's salvation" (Vol. 38, page ll). Under an anonymous veil, the Father relates the action of the grace which connected his thought and heart to the evangelical word:


"There was a person who paid specific attention to this divine command before he read it in the gospel, and began his career with this attention" (Precious Adhesions, l9l9, page l0). Such an attention was due to a divine inspiration in the bloom of his youth: it was "a great, sublime idea that the spirit of God, who blows wherever he wishes it to, inspired to a young man in the beginning of his spiritual youth, many years before he started the Pious Institution" (Ibid. page 7).


Let us read an additional anonymous confession of the Father:


At the beginning of his spiritual life and before knowing these divine words of Jesus: "Pray, therefore, to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest," a youth was immersed in the predominant thought of increasing chosen priests, holy and apostolic men according to the Heart of Jesus by winning them from God through an insistent prayer. He felt that such a prayer was the best means to work a greater good in the holy Church, to save many souls, and to expand the kingdom of God on earth as it happened in the times of Saint Dominic, Saint Francis, Saint Ignatius, Saint Alphonsus, etc.


For this youth, this idea was clear and unquestionable.


Later he was amazed and absorbed after reading these divine words in the gospel: "There is a large harvest, but few workers to gather it in. Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest" (Mt. 9, 37). (Vol. 2, page l43)



vea,rcj





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