Opening Question: What was your worst nightmare?
First Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-11
"Danny! Danny!" his mother yelled. "Come in for dinner!" Danny was used to hearing his mother call out his name. Danny liked to play outside in the bright sunshine. But when it got dark, Danny preferred to sit inside watching television.
Danny was afraid to be in the dark. He heard things. He thought he saw monsters. He believed things were out to get him. Even when his parents were up at night making noise, Danny thought someone or something was out to get him.
Danny had nightmares. Sometimes, Danny would get out of bed, go into his parents bed and fall asleep. His parents didn't like it, but they loved him and tolerated it.
One night Danny thought he heard a ghost call out his name. "Danny!" he heard. Danny jumped out of bed and ran into his parents' bedroom. "Dad," he whispered as he shook his father. "Dad! Didn't you hear that?"
"What?" his father said half asleep. "Danny, don't worry. Just go back to bed. Everything will be okay in the morning." His father rolled over to go back to sleep.
Danny went back to bed and fell asleep. "Danny!" he heard. Danny sat up in bed with his heart pumping full speed. Danny ran into his parents' bedroom. "Dad!" he whispered as he shook his father.
"Danny, did you hear something again?" His father said.
"Yeah, my name!" Danny whispered.
"Well," his father replied, "the next time someone calls your name, say 'Here I am. What do you want?' Okay?"
"Okay," Danny said not really meaning it.
Danny went back to bed very sad. His father didn't take him very seriously. But he decided to do what his father wanted. Danny rolled over and went back to sleep.
"Danny!" Danny sat up in bed. His heart was pounding. He pulled his covers back to run out of bed. But, then, he remembered what his father said. "Here I am. What do you want?" Danny answered.
For a moment, he didn't hear anything. Then he heard it again. "Danny!" the whisper said. "Are you awake?"
Danny turned and saw his little sister. "Are you scared?" he asked.
"Yeah," she said.
"You can sleep with me," Danny said. "Everything will be alright."
Danny heard someone call him. And he helped his sister. Samuel woke up to a voice and helped his people. God always calls us to help others. Like Samuel, let us open our ears to listen to his voice and follow him.
Bridging Question: What's the most unusual party you're ever been invited to?
Gospel: John 1:35-42
One day, John the Baptist stood along the road with two of his followers. When John saw Jesus walk by, he declared, "Look! There is Lamb of God!" The two followers of John heard him and followed Jesus. Jesus turned around and saw the two following him. "What are you looking for?" Jesus asked them.
"Teacher," they answered, "where are you staying?"
"Come and see," Jesus said. It was around four o'clock in the afternoon when they went with Jesus and saw where he lived. They stayed with him the rest of the day.
Andrew, Simon's brother, was one of the two followers who heard what John said, and who followed Jesus. "We found the Messiah!" Andrew told Simon. Andrew took Simon to Jesus. When Jesus saw Simon, he said, "You're Simon, son of John. From now on, your name will be Peter (which means 'Rock')."
Sally opened the fancy envelope. An invitation on pretty paper lay inside. "You're invited to a special gathering...come and see what will happen!" Besides the time, place, and phone number, there was nothing on the invitation to tell Sally what the party was all about. The more Sally talked to her friends and family, the stranger the invitation struck Sally. She began to call it the "Mystery Party."
Fortunately, Sally knew who was throwing the party and some of the invited guests. "What's this party all about?" she asked the host. The host wouldn't say anything. The other people invited to the party were just as confused as Sally. "I talked to a lot of people, too," one of Sally's friends said. "We just don't know what will happen next."
The day of the party arrived. Slowly, people began to arrive. When they entered the house, they found the usual streamers and balloons that decorate a party. They even found a cake, cookies, and punch. But, on the wall, everyone read a sign that explained the party. It read, "Homeless Habitat Lunch Party!" Everyone was invited to a work party. They would make sandwiches, bag food, and box clothes for a homeless shelter. "Let's get to work!" the host exclaimed.
At first, Sally was a little miffed. "I don't come to parties to work. I go to parties to party!" she whispered. But, after awhile, Sally felt better about herself and her work. The work party was actually fun. Everyone worked hard. And everyone had a good time.
At the end of the day, everyone was tired, but felt great. They all seemed to ask the same question. When was the next work party? "You'll just have to come and see," the host responded.
Jesus invited two people. "Come and see," he said. When one of them found out who Jesus really was, he invited his brother. And brother invited someone else, and so on. That's how Christian communities grew. They may not have partied. But, like the party Sally was invited to, they came, worked together, prayed together, and had fun together. They came because someone asked them. And the stayed because they liked what they saw and did. They saw Jesus and worked for the good of others.
Let us do the same.
Closing Question: What have you done for others' good lately? Did someone ask you to help? How did you feel when you finished? What can you do to help others in need?