The prayers indicate that peace is a focus of today’s liturgy. The opening prayers ask that God “show us the way to peace in the world” and that God’s truth “reflect peace to those who believe in your love.” The prayer after communion asks that the Lord “make us one in peace and love.”
The First Reading is about the call of Samuel. The key moment is when Samuel learns to open himself up to God’s message: “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
The Gospel is about another call, the call of the apostles. Jesus challenges the two disciples with the question: “What are you looking for?”
What are we looking for in our world today? Are we looking for peace? If we are looking for peace, are we listening to what the Lord is telling us about the Spirit of peace dwelling within us?
Perhaps a radical change must take place within us in order for there to be peace. The changing of Simon’s name could be symbolic of the challenge to change issued by Jesus when he calls us to follow him.
Let the Christian who listens to the word of the living God, uniting work with prayer, know the place that his work has not only in earthly progress but also in the development of the kingdom of God, to which we are all called through the power of the Holy Spirit and through the word of the Gospel.
Pope John Paul II, Laborem Exercens, 1981: 27.