‘Go and lie down and if someone calls say, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”’ – 1Sam 3:10
Are you listening? You must understand that this question is always before you and it is not asking about the biological state of your ears. In today’s first reading God calls Samuel. But Samuel had to learn to listen not just with his ears but with his whole being. God’s presence demands more than just a partial presence. He wants you to realise that He fills the space all around you. “Speak Lord, your servant is listening”. Listening here means a total surrender of all your faculties; your mind, your body and your will. Saint Irenaeus points out that “to believe in God is to do His will”. To listen is to do both. With the mind, you accept the reality of God and the truth He is presenting to you. With your body you search for signs and indications that God is really speaking to you. With your will, you indicate your readiness to obey what God is asking of you. Listening takes practice. First you ought to remove every obstacle to hearing God’s voice. The first of these is sin. In a world of perpetual distraction and compulsive multitasking, you must submit ourselves consciously to moments of silence to listen to the steering of God in our hearts. Once the heart is still, it ought to be filled with the truths revealed by Christ to the Church and presented in Sacred Scripture. Make out time to speak with God and listen for His voice. God speaks to each person in a way they uniquely understand.Be present to those in your life. Sometimes their words are laden with divine messages. Some people receive messages through dreams (caution must be applied here). Others hear a voice that is as clear as day. For some it might come from the inspired words of a song, a book, a preacher or a deep conviction in their heart. Whatever be the case, don’t go seeking answers. Don’t allow yourself be deceived by so-called “prayer brothers and sisters”, “prophets” or seers. Listen and the answers you seek will come to you. Are you listening?
Almighty God, thank you for revealing your closeness to me in the person of Christ. Help me to seek you through the means afforded to me in the Church and in seeking You may I find joy and peace.
1Sam 3:1-10,19-20; Ps 40:2,5,7-10; Mk 1:29-39