The Old Testament reading was one of my favorites. From 1 Samuel, where the Lord is calling Samuel and Samuel thinks it’s Eli, and Eli is all shut up and let me sleep, kid. I always think of this scene when I’m in the shower and Dawn comes in the bathroom and I say, “Dawn, is that you?” and she replies, “Here I am.”
Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD
where the ark of God was.
The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.”
Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.”
“I did not call you,” Eli said. “Go back to sleep.”
So he went back to sleep.
I never noticed before, but I like how, for the three times Samuel thinks it’s Eli calling him, the text simply describes that the Lord is calling for Samuel. Then, after Eli tells Samuel that it’s the Lord calling him, it reads:
[T]he LORD came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
I’m not sure why I like this particular point, but I do. We don’t read the Lord calling out Samuel’s actual name until Samuel is ready, until Samuel understands just who is calling him.
And speaking of names, the Gospel is from John, where Peter, still named Simon, meets Jesus for the first time.
Jesus looked at him and said,
“You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas” .- which is translated Peter.
Why does Christ re-name him? (In a way it’s kind of a funny scene — What? Your name is Simon? Um, no, not going to work. Let me see. Rufus? No. Stanley? Greg? Dirk? Wait, wait, I’ve got it. Peter!) I asked Monsignor after Mass, and he said that it is emblematic of the big change that’s taking place, the new covenant, a whole new set of rules.
That certainly makes sense. But also we can look at this passage from Matthew:
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church…
Notice that Jesus refers to him by his name, Simon, but says that, because of such and such, he is Peter. He is the rock.
So that makes me look back to the passage from John and note that Christ says not “I hereby name you” or “I will call you” but rather “[Y]ou will be called” Peter. Simon will be called the rock.
I have to think about this some more.