The O.T. and Gospel readings lend themselves to a talk on vocations, of following God through the encouragement of another as in Eli for Samuel, John the Baptist for Andrew, and Andrew for Simon. We can all nurture each other’s discipleship by pointing out how God enters our lives and accompany one another on the journey of faith.
But, I will go in another direction.
In the Gospels, Jesus told parables to illustrate what people would do to obtain material goods: for example, a treasure in a field which a person sells all that he has in order to buy that field; or, the pearl of great price in which a merchant sold everything he had to buy that one exquisite pearl; or, the woman who tore her house apart in order to find a lost coin.
Jesus is making the point that if go through some much trouble and effort to gain material things, we should do more to gain everlasting life.
However each of us has to be convinced of the importance of eternal life and the discipleship that makes it possible. Why, some might ask, should we bother to do more worship, prayer, and good works than the bare minimum?
Paul has an answer: “For you have been purchased at a price.” And what a price Jesus Christ paid for you! Rather than selling all he had, he gave all he had – his very life’s blood to purchase for God the Father each of us. Jesus dramatically gave evidence of how much God values each one of us.
Should we not do the same, giving our lives totally over to God, with nothing left behind?
Remember what Paul also wrote: “You are not your own.”
You and I belong to God.