January 14, 2018 - 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
Three times this happens before old Eli realizes that it is the Lord God who must be calling Samuel. One would think that Eli, a seasoned prophet, would have figured it out sooner.
So finally, the fourth time Samuel is able to answer, “speak, for your servant is listening.”
This funny little scene should actually bring us great comfort. It took Eli three times before he realized the Lord God was calling the boy. And the boy didn’t even have a clue.
We usually don’t fair any better. Why? Because God’s voice is not the only voice vying for our attention.
Some voices are good, others are not so good. Some helpful, others destructive. Some worthwhile, others misguided. Some leading us down the right path and others tempting us to go astray.
We have to learn to tune out voices that encourage us to look out for ourselves before others, get revenge on those who have harmed us, look down on those who have less than we do, gossip, put down and belittle others, and bend the truth.
We have to learn to listen to voices that call us to grow in our spiritual life, respect the dignity of each person, act with kindness and charity and work on becoming more loving and forgiving.
Learning to recognize God’s voice takes time. We have to learn to be good listeners because God is always trying to communicate with us. God is continually trying to speak to us. God is continually trying to reveal wisdom and guidance to us.
The Lord God desires to do this in many different ways, through our scriptures, through the church, through holy people we encounter everyday and in the deepest recesses of our hearts and minds and souls.
We have to want to hear God’s voice. We have to be open to what God wants to say to us. But listening is just the first part of being a good disciple.
Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John teach us that the second part of discipleship requires action. When they hear John the Baptist say, “Behold the Lamb of God,” they begin to follow Jesus. When we hear God’s voice we also must act on it.
We are called to have a heart open to God’s voice. We are called to have the strength and courage to follow.
In this way, we, like Samuel and Eli, like Peter and Andrew, James and John, will grow into the people God desires us to be.