Being called and then responding appropriately is a theme this Sunday, as we return to the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. In the first reading, the youth Samuel is sleeping in the temple when he hears a voice call to him. After the third attempt, Samuel at last responds appropriately. “When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the LORD came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, ‘Samuel, Samuel!’ Samuel answered, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening’” (1 Sam 3:9-10).
In the responsorial psalm, the psalmist is waiting for the Lord to call him. When the Lord finally does, his response is: “Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will” (Ps 40:8-9).
Then, in the Gospel, Andrew and another disciple see Jesus walking. Our Lord asks what they want, and they respond in turn with a question: “where are you staying?” Jesus says, “Come and you will see” (Jn 1:39). They go. Andrew brings his brother Peter, and the rest is history.
Christ talks to us constantly. Sometimes his talking is in the form of a call. And the call is not a burdensome request, but, rather, an invitation—an invitation to something deeper, something better.
Do you hear the Lord talking to you? Is he calling you to do something today? This week? Is it something simple, like setting aside ten minutes of quiet just to sit with Jesus? Is it something more complicated, like calling that relative from whom you are estranged? Whatever it is, don't be afraid. Responding appropriately to the Lord worked out well for Samuel, the psalmist, St. Paul, and St. Andrew and co. It will work out well for you too.
We are excited to debut today the St. Juliana teen group! All teens are invited to attend the 5pm Mass, followed by pizza and an open gym in the Ahearn Center. There is no obligation—just come for a fun Mass and some free food and games. Parents, please encourage your high schoolers and feel free yourself to come and chaperone. Things should be wrapped up by 7–7:30pm.
This weekend is a special collection for the Church in Latin America. Your generosity will help the faithful of Latin American and the Caribbean. Extra flyers with more details and envelopes are in the back of the church.
Speaking of special collections, here is what our parish has raised since July 1, 2017 for the following efforts:
Ascension-St. Susannah Parish (sharing parish): $6,944
Campaign for Human Development: $1,216
Catholic Charities (Hurricane Relief): $6,513
Church in Poland: $1,209
Seminarian Education Fund: $5,551
World Mission Sunday: $1,703
Religious Retirement: $3,808
Also, I received a thank-you letter from The Women's Center for the wreath sale we held on the Second Sunday of Advent. Here is an excerpt from the letter: ”We are grateful to the many parish volunteers who helped promote, set-up, sell, clean and buy the wreaths and Christmas greenery. Through their efforts, $2,610 was raised which will be used to provide life-affirming medical and counseling services and material support to women facing crisis pregnancies.”
Next Saturday, January 20th is the Mother's Club Big Night Out. This is a great event and it should be particularly fun with the dueling pianos. Thank you to Megan Aylward and Heidi Vonderheide and everyone else who helped with the fundraiser.
Yours in Christ,