January 14, 2018 — Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
“Speak, for your servant is listening.” With those few words Samuel humbles himself and declares his loyalty and obedience to God. There are perhaps for many of us challenges in those words. Initially Samuel responds “Here I am,” but thinks it was Eli who called him. The idea of being a servant and the willingness to serve are what may be trials for us in terms of how we live.
Samuel does not recognize the voice of the Lord. That, too, may be a problem for us. First we need to be listening. Are we, or are we merely going through the motions? Responding to God with “Here I am” is a magnificent way to react to God. It is not that God does not know where we are, but saying that can serve as a reminder to us that we are stewards, servants to Him, and it implies we are prepared to hear what He wants us to do.
“Here I am” is said numerous times by those in the Old Testament including Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Isaiah, and by Ananias in the New Testament. When Jesus says, “Come follow me,” as He does to us, do we hear Him, and even more important do we respond and do we follow?
In order to do that properly we have to be prepared to serve Him and others. Thus, like Samuel, we need to listen, and then we need to serve. At a recent papal audience, Pope Francis said, “Love and charity are service, helping others, serving others. When you forget yourself and think of others, this is love!”