There is a story told about King Henry III of Bavaria and how he became a saintly king. King Henry was very dissatisfied with his kingly jobs. He wanted to abdicate his kingship and become a monk. The king approached Prior Richard at the local monastery and pleaded to be accepted as a monk. Prior Richard, who knew King Henry well, reminded him about the difficulties of a king becoming a monk, for the king never had to be obedient to anybody. The king responded saying that he totally understood the Prior’s apprehension, but that he would be obedient to the Prior for rest of his life. So, the Prior said, “if you want to obey me then I will tell you what to do. Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you.” King Henry obeyed the commands of the Prior, ruled his people with the fear of God and became a saintly king.

All three readings today, speak to us about the Divine Call. It is our duty to respond to this call of God in every day of our lives; and then, help others listen to God’s call and respond to it positively. In simple terms, God is calling us to become saints. He expects us to be saints in the concrete situations of our personal, family and business or professional daily lives.

In the First Reading, God called Samuel. Through the help of Eli, Samuel responded to God’s call. This was a starting point to a dialogue that eventually led to a relationship with God. God calls every one of us to a relationship with Him, which can be achieved by constantly responding to His invitation to discipleship and having constant dialogue (prayer) with Him.

Today’s Second Reading is from Saint Paul’s letter to the church of Corinth. He addresses them as men and women “called to be saints”. That includes us. We may not feel like we are saints yet, but that is the purpose for which God has called us. We are all called to holiness. We have been given the Holy Spirit to help us become saints. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit… For you have been purchased at a price” (1 Cor 6:20).

In the Gospel, Jesus invites His new disciples to come and experience His life. It is an invitation to abide with Him. This is taking the relationship to the next level. In John’s Gospel, Jesus constantly asks his listeners to have a deeper relationship with Him and with His God. Whenever we enter a relationship with Jesus, our lives will never remain the same. Our entire self gets transformed. This is very well expressed by the change of name in today’s Gospel – Simon becomes Cephas (Peter).

Let us ask God today to teach us how to live saintly lives in our families and in whatever occupation we find ourselves.

–Fr. Ranjan D’Sa OCD

Category Reflections