Speak, Lord, your servant is listening
By REV. FR. SAMUEL FREDERICK
1 Sam. 3:1-10.19-20, Mk 1:29-39. In today's first reading, God called the boy Samuel by name but Samuel had no idea it was God who was calling him. It was only after the fourth call that Samuel was able to answer: “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Samuel grew up and the Lord was with him and Samuel was an accredited prophet of the Lord. Before this time, Samuel was living in the Temple of the Lord and ministering to the Lord, but Samuel was not attuned fully to God. He was doing religious things, yet he had not developed a deep relationship with the Lord. He needed the spiritual wisdom and discernment of an elder, the person of Eli, to help him recognise God’s call and respond to the divine call. It was only with the guidance of Eli that Samuel realised that God was speaking to him. It was then that he could really listen to the message of God, not just this first time, but for the rest of his life.
Thus, Samuel became a prophet, a spokesman for God, who changed the course of Israel’s history. His tranquil home life at the sanctuary at Shiloh was disrupted by the call to become God’s prophet. In today’s Gospel, two points echo the prophetic vocation in the ministry of Jesus in Capernaum. The first is healing activity; the other is the need for quiet prayer. The life-giving power of Jesus is seen in healing Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. He goes on to heal the many sick people who were brought to Him. These healings brought the people crowding to see Him, but in the morning, long before dawn, Jesus goes off to a quiet place to pray. Though His miracles were admired but retiring to pray alone was not so well accepted. In time, He would learn how Jesus needed to spend time communing with God. Prayer was as important to Him as His work of teaching and healing. Prayer is as vital for us as it was for Jesus. We need help if we are to live as we ought to live and if we are to actively share in his work. In prayer we express our dependence on God and ask for grace, so as to be channels of that grace to others.
May the Lord fill our day with His compassion, so that our exemplary actions will be the source of inspiration for those whom we encounter in life, that through us, more may come to know the Lord and be inspired to follow in our footsteps, in believing in Him and His salvation! Amen!! Good morning, peace be with you!!!