Discern and listen
As ancient as this event is, the situation was not unlike our own time, especially in this respect: “a revelation of the LORD was uncommon and vision infrequent.”
Samuel discerns the voice of God, in no small part thanks to the advice of a very imperfect religious man who is slow to stumble upon the famous wisdom he shares with Samuel.
Then Eli understood
that the LORD was calling the youth.
So Eli said to Samuel,
“Go to sleep,
and if you are called, reply,
‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’”
There are two critical lessons for us in this reading: lessons to be remembered and put into practice each and every day.
Discern and listen.
There are many voices that we can hear – voices in the world that we see, voices from places we cannot see, and voices within ourselves.
It is a matter of life and death that we discern correctly the voice of God and filter out the ungodly voices around us and within us.
We do this by the grace of God and using the instrumentality God gives us: most especially, the deposit of faith (Scripture and the Magisterium) and the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
But of course, in order to discern, we must first listen: taking the time to carve out quiet places in our schedule and in our thoughts, reaching beyond ourselves, our preferences, our plans, and what we call our lives.
May God give us the grace to listen, discern, and respond – in attitude, word, and action.
Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.