Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

GROWING ATTENTIVE TO OUR SENSES

By Leanna Cappiello

The Gospel reading, Jesus asks, “What are you looking for?”

That is the question, isn’t it… What exactly are we seeking?

It starts with a calling.

In the first reading, Samuel hears the Lord, and thinking that it is his father says to Eli, “Here I am, for you called me.” Samuel’s immediate impression is that this voice came from a real source, a person, someone he knows well. When Eli finally realizes that Samuel is actually hearing the voice of the Lord, he gives his son instructions as to how to respond, “You shall say, ‘Speak Lord, for your servant is listening’.” Once Samuel repeats these words, making himself available to God, he gains divine companionship for the rest of his life. We are all called to this companionship with God. This demonstrates that He is always calling us individually to be with Him.

But how do we recognize Him when He calls?

The reading from Corinthians adds another component to our encounter with God. Our bodies are described as “members of Christ” and a “temple for the Holy Spirit”, and we are taught to “Glorify God in your body.” Sounds pretty clear: our bodies are not only holy, but are vessels for a profound love, and way to experience this love through our senses.

Notice that all of the seven sacraments have a physical component so that we may experience God’s love, not as a willy-nilly fantasy, but as a profound reality. Take Eucharist for example. When attend Mass, all our senses are engaged: the lighting for our eyes, incense for our smell, prayers for our ears, the sign of peace for our touch, and the bread for our taste. We are absolutely and totally present in what we call the penultimate prayer: when Jesus fully offers Himself to us, and we respond in total thanksgiving. This is love. Wouldn’t you want to recognize it? To be fully aware, alive and awake for this moment?

This is how we encounter.

We are called, and the physical realities are made available to us, to listen and respond. We know that Christ is ever-present and perpetually calling us. It is time to make ourselves acute and accustomed to hearing His voice.