- In the Book of Samuel 3:3-10, it’s the call of Samuel and of Andrew and his brother, Simon Peter. First, let us consider the story of Samuel's call -- a dramatic story exemplifying the dynamics of God's call. Eli was old and nearly blind; his time was nearing an end, so God called Samuel to begin a new era. Samuel needed help in discerning his call, and Eli's wisdom and friendship with the young man were necessary so that Samuel could really hear the Lord's voice. Once Samuel recognized that it was truly the Lord who was calling him, he became the great prophet who would discern God's will regarding religious, social and political matters for the people.
When we come before the Lord to listen to his Word, our deepest prayer of the heart should be: "Speak Lord, your servant is listening."; yet, often turns out to be: "Listen Lord, your servant is speaking!"
- In the Gospel story John 1: 35-42, it is Jesus who takes the initiative to ask the disciples: "What are you looking for?" (verse 38). The disciples, in turn, ask him, "Teacher, where do you stay?" The disciples are not only concerned about where Jesus might sleep that night, but they are really asking where he has his life. Jesus responds to them: "Come and see" (verse 39). To "come" to Jesus is used to describe faith in him. Also, for John, to "see" Jesus with real perception is to believe in him.
The disciples began their discipleship when they went to see where he was staying and "they stayed on with him that day" (verse 39). They responded to his invitation to believe, discovered what his life was like, and they "stayed on"; they began to live in him, and he in them.
What can we learn from the call stories in today's readings? We are never called for our own sake, but for the sake of others.
- This coming Friday, January 29, a “March for Life” will be held in Washington D.C. and was the forty-eighth anniversary of the U. S. Supreme Court Decision Roe v. Wade. (Although, it’s will be little different because of Coronavirus). The Bishops of our nation have asked all Catholics to fast and do extra penance as small reparation for the millions of abortions committed in our country, and for the legal approval of these actions.
While, we Christians can and ought to build a pro-life culture through many avenues, and not only through changes in law, it remains the case that as Christians and as Americans, “in God we trust”. God expects us to make needed changes in our world, but we can only do so through God’s truth and grace.
- A word of “Thanks” to those who work on behalf of our two parish communities in Justice, Peace and Life at St. Gabriel and Prince of Peace who has shared information and encouraged us in this effort locally and in our own Archdiocese of Seattle.
- A word of thanks to many people have contributed to this special collection last weekend for the special collection to C.S. (Catholic Community Services) in the local office here in Kitsap County. Also, many thanks to everyone who had contributed, financially, to the effort of C.C.S. work.
- Our Beloved Seahawks are not moving on in this year playoff … how SAD!!! Perhaps, at some point, we can truly say that the Seahawks did have a very good season.
Fr. Phuong Hoang