Here I am Lord
A Reflection for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
By Rev. Bob Johnnene OFD of Mission Sts. Sergius & Bacchus/ Franciscans of Divine Mercy
“Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3) How often, when we hear that inner voice calling out to us or inspiring us to do something that would benefit others and not just ourselves do we cry out with these words; “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
The readings for this Sunday are all about answering God’s call to serve Him.
They also remind us that we are one with Christ and Almighty God by being of service to God.
One might ask, “Exactly what is service to God”. Serving God or being of Service to God, means that we are mindful of the needs of all those around us. It means reaching out to those in need with compassion and generosity. Being of service to God is living Christ’s instructions found in the Sermon on the Mount often called THE BEATITUDES.
Another way of saying, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Is “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will” which is the response for the Psalms of the Mass.
Often I hear people ask, “What is the Lords Will? Or How do we know what God wants?” and the answer is quite simple and is found in all four gospels, “LOVE THE LORD, YOUR GOD, WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART, MIND, SOUL AND BODY AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF.” (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:20, and John 11:3)
I have come to the conclusion that one of the problems we face today in carrying out this will of God is that far too many people do not love or respect themselves.
Too many people are always trying to change the way God created them rather than accepting how God created them and making the most of it.
People show they have disrespect for themselves by maltreating their bodies which, as the second reading for today states, “The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body; God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power, Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him. (1 Corinthians 6)
Far too many people today indulge in risky sexual practices, overeat, misuse alcohol, and so many other behaviors which would seem to indicate they do not appreciate how God created them or that they love themselves.
Far too many other people show disrespect to Almighty God by rejecting some of God’s children because of their skin color, nationality, sexual orientation or economic situation and refuse to allow some of God’s children to participate in the worship of God even denying them the sacraments because of the previously stated man made standards.
Sadly, more than once, I have heard of children being refused Baptism because they were born out of wedlock or the person who was denied membership in a faith community because they could not afford the prescribed financial contribution to the church.
This is not serving God, but as scripture reminds us serving wealth and man made things. "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth” (Matthew 6:24) & (Luke 13).
Paul’s letter to the Corinthians ends with these words; “You are not your own property; you have been bought and paid for. That is why you should use your body for the glory of God.
To use our body for the glory of God means simply that we do not indulge in anything that might bring about the destruction of God’s temple, our bodies, and we use the gift of sex, as an example, as God intended it to be used in a committed loving relationship and not just for our own self gratification.
To answer God’s call is to be totally giving of ourselves just as Christ was totally giving of Himself, even to accepting death on the cross so that we could have forgiveness of our sins and life everlasting.
When we answer God with; “Here I am Lord” we need to be willing to give ourselves over completely to God’s will for us and to become God’s hands, feet, mouth in the service to ALL God’s children.
I want to close this reflection by sharing a prayer I wrote in 1997 which tells God how we give ourselves over to him.
Prayer of Commitment
By Rev. Robert Johnnene OFD, August 1997
Mission Saints Sergius and Bacchus/ Franciscans of Divine Mercy
Almighty God, I give you my hands to do your work; I give you my feet to go your way; I give you my eyes to see as you do; I give you my tongue to speak your words; I give you my mind that you may think in me;
I give you my spirit that you may pray in me; Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in and through me all with whom I come in contact with each and every day. I dedicate myself to doing your will in all things and to becoming an instrument through which you might bring peace and harmony to all your children here on earth.. AMEN
Oración de compromiso
Por el reverendo Robert Johnnene OFD,
agosto de 1997
Dios Todopoderoso, te doy mis manos para realizar su trabajo; Le doy mis pies tu camino; Te doy mis ojos para ver como haces; Te doy mi lengua para hablar de sus palabras; Te doy mi mente que usted puede pensar en mí; Te doy mi espíritu que usted puede orar en mí; Sobre todo, te doy mi corazón que usted puede ama en y a través de mí todo con quien entran en contacto con cada día. Me dedico a hacer su voluntad en todas las cosas y a convertirse en un instrumento a través del cual usted puede traer la paz y armonía a todos tus hijos aquí en la tierra. AMÉN