Grace to you!
The story of the call of Samuel (1 Sm 3:1-10, 19-20) is a beautiful text for today’s spiritual reflection. When I was a student in the minor seminary, the story was often cited as a classic text for vocation discernment.
We know that vocation (from Latin voco, vocare) is a call. It is also an answer to a call. God calls. We answer when He calls. When we answer, God begins to lead us through our participation in His call to the ultimate plan He had set forth.
Every day, God is looking for those who will accept His invitation for some unique tasks and ministry. It could be in the clerical or religious life. It could also be in the secular world, those who are involved with day to day activities in society whom He wants to use to show forth His glory. Indeed, God is anticipating your yes and your unique contribution to bless the world. Hope you have thought about this much?
From Samuel, we learn some qualities of those called and chosen. First, we learn that Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. Eli was the High Priest and Samuel was serving under him. Did you notice how Scripture summarized the boy’s (Samuel) attitude and disposition? It is that of service. A heart that has come to serve and is already serving. He wasn’t waiting to be called before he began to serve.
Samuel’s service was unique because it was also worship. Worship is key to unlocking the glory in our life. Our journey on earth is to worship the living God. Prostrating in the temple before the Ark of the Covenant, as Samuel did before he was called by the Lord (1 Sm 3:3), is a classic example of highest prayer, highest praise; the kind that literarily submits and prostrates before the Lord in worship.
Third, Samuel had a listening ear. This sort of listening is the kind that flows from inner attention to the promptings and inspirations of God. Many times, God speaks and we do not hear because we are distracted. Samuel wasn’t distracted.
When the voice was not clear, he sought the advice of Eli, the high priest. The role Eli played here could be seen as the role of a spiritual director in our spiritual life. The spiritual director has to direct the person to connect with God’s word in their unique situations. The summary of the duty is to train the pupil to say, “Speak Lord your servant is listening.”
Here we also notice how experience could help in our spiritual life. You may have observed that the more you mature in the things of the Lord, the clearer you can understand His promptings. Blessed are those who open their hearts to those promptings.
Finally, Samuel obeyed and when God called a third time—the number three is always symbolic—he responded as advised and God spoke. He had matured into the skilled ear to hear and to understand.
When the Lord responded to John the Baptists disciples’ question, ‘where are you staying’ by saying, “Come and see,” the invitation is extended to all (Jn 1:35-42). God calls us to come and follow him. He invites us every day through his Word and the Sacraments to see His vision for us. Hope you are able to see what God is calling you for.
What is God asking of you? If you know it, are you willing to allow God to lead you to its fulfilment? Are you willing to cooperate with God? Afterall, we are the temple of the Lord (1 Cor 6:19), members of Christ’s body (1 Cor 6:15). shouldn’t we allow the Lord to use His temple as He pleases? All the Lord desires is our joy—salvation.
How about this new year, we make a firm decision to let God be God in our life and career? By doing so, we could understand better what the future holds for us.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Sunday Week 2 B: 1 Sm 3:3B-10, 19; 1 Cor 6:13C-15A, 17-20; Jn 1:35-42]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.