Embracing God’s Call!
On this 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, we are faced with the question ofFr. Dominic Toan Tran, Pastor
identity and the voices that beckon us. Today’s readings of Samuel hearing
God’s call and the transformative meeting between Jesus and Simon, are
invitations for us to ponder our reaction to God’s call and the realization of our
true identity in Him this New Year.
In our daily lives, we encounter numerous voices that seek to define and
influence us. Samuel’s story reminds us that amidst the noise and confusion, we
must learn to discern the voice of God and respond with humility and openness.
Samuel, initially mistaking God’s voice for that of his master Eli, learns to
recognize and heed God’s call through the guidance of Eli, eventually
responding, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” This response is not merely
a set of words but a posture of the heart, demonstrating a willingness to
recognize and act upon God’s voice. Samuel’s acceptance of the name “servant”
leads him to grow into the person he is meant to be—a prophet sent by God.
However, in our journey to answer God’s call and withstand the invitation of
competing voices, we may question whether surrendering to God’s naming of us
is a denial of our true selves. Today’s Gospel reading provides us with an
answer. Jesus changes Simon’s name to Cephas, meaning “Rock,” signifying a
transformation of identity and purpose. This act demonstrates that our actual
name before God is not subjective. It is a reflection of who we are truly meant to
be. By surrendering ourselves to God’s name, we are not denying our true selves
but embracing our authentic identity as beloved children of God.
As we stand at the beginning of a New Year, let us reflect on the significance
of our true identity before God. Our identity is not shaped by the fleeting
expectations and labels of the world but by our relationship with our Heavenly
Father. It is through this relationship that we discover our purpose and true worth.
Embracing our identity as children of God enables us to align our lives with His
will, finding fulfillment and meaning in His call.
Dear brothers and sisters, our lives are bombarded by competing voices and
distractions that can lead us astray from God’s call. We need to cultivate a spirit
of discernment and prayer so that we may recognize and respond to His voice
amidst the world’s noise. Let us echo the words of Samuel, saying, “Speak, Lord,
your servant is listening,” and open our hearts to receive God’s guidance and
direction in our lives. Let us surrender ourselves to His will, trusting that He
knows us better than we know ourselves and that His plan for us is one of hope
and purpose. May the grace of God guide us in recognizing His voice and
embracing our true identity in Him as we journey through this New Year.