Scripture Studies, January 14, 2018 Second Sunday In Ordinary Time

January 14, 2018 Second Sunday In Ordinary Time

Today, the church celebrates the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time. The name of this season does not mean that it is unimportant time. Rather, it is derived from the word, “Ordo” which in its various forms means ordered or counted because it consists of the counted Sundays of the year. During Ordinary Time, the Lectionary readings tend to focus less on specific doctrinal issues or mysteries of salvation history and more on how one is to live as a disciple of Christ. The first lesson in this course on discipleship comes today as we reflect on how we hear the call of God in our lives. Samuel is presented, in the first reading, as one who hears God call for the first time and seeks to respond with openness and obedience. Because of the obedience with which Samuel accepted God’s word, the Lord never permitted Samuel’s words to be without effect. What kind of reception does God’s call receive in my life? How well do I hear the word of God? The question that Jesus asked the two disciples of John who went after Him is also a question that He asks us today. What is it that I am looking for? What kind of messiah am I searching for? Paul reminds us, in the second reading, that our actions have importance. God cares about how I act and what I do because He calls me to make Jesus Lord of all of it. Improper behavior negates my commitment to Christ and impedes my ability to be the presence of Jesus in the world. How much of my life have I placed under the Lordship of Jesus?

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

3 The lamp of God was not yet extinguished, and Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was. 4 The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.” 5 He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.” “I did not call you,” Eli said. “Go back to sleep.” So he went back to sleep. 6 Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “You called me.” But he answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.” 7 At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD, because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet. 8 The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.” Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth. 9 So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'” When Samuel went to sleep in his place, 10 the LORD came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

19 Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect.

NOTES on First Reading:

* 3:3-10 This is a story of how the Word of God first came to Samuel. It serves as a story of his call to be a prophet and serves much the same function in the Samuel cycle of stories as the stories of the inaugural visions of the other prophets.

* 3:3 The lamp is not simply a reference to oil lamps but to the light of God’s word. Although it had become rare the word of God had not yet left Israel altogether.

* 3:7-8 Samuel’s lack of understanding is perhaps understandable due to his youth and lack of experience with the Lord, but Eli’s lack of recognition of the Lord’s call to Samuel until He had called three times is probably intended to emphasize the rarity of prophecy in those days and the gulf that Eli had allowed to develop between him and the Lord. In many ways this story is a study in contrast between Samuel’s eagerness to hear and serve the Lord and the stubbornness of the house of Eli.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 6: 13c-15a, 17-20

13 “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food,” but God will do away with both the one and the other. The body, however, is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body; 14 God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.

15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take Christ’s members and make them the members of a prostitute? Of course not! 16 (Or) do you not know that anyone who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For “the two,” it says, “will become one flesh.” 17 But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.

NOTES on Second Reading:

* 6:12-20 It was the opinion of some factions in Corinth that sexuality is a morally indifferent area. Because of this, Paul explains the mutual relation between the Lord Jesus and our bodies in a densely packed paragraph that contains elements of a profound theology of sexuality (1 Cor 6:15-20).

* 6:12-13 These verses begin with a Corinthian slogan that is, to some extent, derived from Paul’s thought but carried to an extreme. They consider sexual satisfaction a matter as indifferent as food, and they attribute no lasting significance to bodily functions (1 Cor 6:13a). Paul deals with this idea by providing two qualifications: Not everything is beneficial (1 Cor 10:23) to the community and in fact some things destroy it (Gal 4:9), and the argument of 1 Cor 8-10 concerning the finality of freedom and moral activity. He emphasizes that many apparently free actions actually involve a secret servitude in conflict with the lordship of Jesus.

* 6:13-14 This section begins with another Corinthian slogan intended to prove that physical actions have no moral value. Paul uses it to show an illogical result if it is applied without restraint. Paul insists that sexual behavior is not strictly analogous to keeping dietary laws. If our bodies are to be raised, then God must attach some importance to the actions for which our bodies are used. There is an inconsistency in claiming membership in the body of Christ and at the same time using one’s body for sexually immoral purposes.

* 6:15 Casual sexual use of another person by a Christian negates his commitment to carrying on the mission of Christ that the Church has been given. If we are the presence of Christ in the world, then we must act as is appropriate for members of Christ’s body.

* 6:15b-16 The reference to a prostitute may be specifically to religious prostitution which was an accepted part of pagan culture at Corinth and most of the ancient world but the prostitute also serves as a symbol for any sexual relationship that conflicts with Christ’s claim over us individually.
Paul quotes the text of Genesis 2:24 (The two . . . will become one flesh). This text is applied positively to human marriage in Matthew and Mark, and in Eph 5:29-32 where love of husband and wife reflect the love of Christ for his church. Application of the same text to sexual union with a prostitute was intended to be jarring to the sensibilities, for such a union is a parody, an antitype of marriage, which conflicts with Christ’s claim over us. This explains the horror expressed in 15b.

* 6:16 Taking the transitory pleasure of sexual union without real communication and the full union of persons violates the Creator’s intention for the sexual act (Gen 2:24).

* 6:18 Paul refers to a third Corinthian slogan : “Every sin is outside the body” is intended by certain factions in Corinth to mean that actions don’t count only motives count. Paul holds that by refusing to involve themselves with the other person as real partners in life but only as physical sex partners they have perverted the intent of the most intimate physical act and failed to live up to the call of God.

* 6:19-20 The holiness of the community must be reflected in the comportment of each member because each is possessed by the Spirit and belongs to Christ. Paul uses the image of having been ransomed such as a prisoner or a slave might be. By proper use of the body we serve and glorify God the Creator. By improper use of the same body we deeply offend Our Lord and His Father and we defile the temples that the indwelling Holy Spirit has made of our bodies.

Gospel Reading: John 1: 35–42

35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” 37 The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them,”Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon. 40 Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). 42 Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Kephas” (which is translated Peter).

NOTES on Gospel:

* 1:35-42 John the Baptist’s testimony achieves the goal of sending two of his own disciples after Jesus. This section can be divided into two episodes as can the parallel events of the next day in the following section. In the first episode of each, Jesus invites new disciples to follow Him (35-39, 43- 44). In the second episode the new disciple(s) bring a new person to Jesus while confessing their faith in Jesus as the Messiah after which Jesus looks at the newcomer and greets him with a special name (40-42, 45-50).

* 1:37 Andrew is named in the Gospel text. The other disciple is traditionally taken to be John, son of Zebedee.

* 1:38-39 Rabbi was not a common designation for a teacher in Jesus’ day. It came into general use only in the later half of the first century. John’s Gospel uses it extensively in Chapters 1 through 12 where it is frequently a sign of respect combined with a statement or question that will require an individual’s understanding of Jesus to be corrected or modified (See 1:42; 3:2; 3:26; 4:31; 6:25; 9:2; 11:8).

Both “coming to Jesus” (for example 3:21; 5:40; 6:35,37,45) and “seeing” (for example 5:40; 6:40,47) are indications of faith in John’s Gospel.

* 1:39 The time which is usually translated as “four in the afternoon” is literally, “the tenth hour,” counted from sunrise as was the custom in the Roman calculation of time. Some have suggested that the next day, which would begin at sunset, was the Sabbath and so they would have stayed with Jesus to avoid traveling on it.

* 1:40-42 The summons to conversion is based on confession that Jesus is the Messiah. The use of “we” reflects the testimony of the early Christian community.

* 1:41 The Hebrew word, “masiah,” means “anointed one” and appears in the Greek text as the transliterated “messias” only here and in John 4:25. Elsewhere in the New Testament, the Greek translation of the word (“christos”) is used.

* 1:42 Simon is called “the son of John” here. Matthew 16:17 follows a different tradition for the name of Simon’s father, calling him “Bariona,” which means “son of Jonah.” Kephas means, in Aramaic, ” the Rock” (See Matthew 16:18). Neither the Greek equivalent Petros nor, with one isolated exception, Kephas is attested as a personal name before Christian times.</p

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