Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!”and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.”
But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Is the Lord’s voice that loud, or is Samuel just a light sleeper? Those were my first questions about today’s reading. I mean, Samuel wakes up from his slumber three times when he hears a voice calling to him. More impressively, he gets up each time and answers, “Here I am.”
But maybe my first two questions are the wrong ones; maybe Samuel’s heart is open to the call of the Lord, and so he is able to hear it. Perhaps the Lord is always speaking to us, in little moments each and every day. Am I paying attention? Am I open to his desires for me? When the Lord speaks am I, his servant, truly listening?
—Connor Walters is a communications coordinator at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, OH. He also coaches rowing and co-moderates the school’s Saint Benedict Joseph Labre Ministry to the Homeless.
Pope Francis cautions us not to be too self-reliant, saying that this attitude can lead to a self-centered egoism that is afraid of God and refuses to hear or accept his generosity. “It is so difficult to listen to the voice of Jesus, the voice of God, when you believe that that the whole world revolves around you: there is no horizon, because you become your own horizon.” —Nov. 4, 2014Please share the Good Word with your friends!