Before the days of caller ID the phone would ring and sometimes when you answered it, you weren’t quite sure who was on the other line. The voice may have sounded familiar, they certainly knew who you were by the enthusiasm they greeted you with, but still, the responses you offered back were short and skeptical while your brain tried to process who you might be talking to. Then, there were times you received a message on the “answering machine” thinking it was someone else, only to return the call to the wrong person. Well, that’s kind of what happens in today’s first reading.
First off, I laugh when I read how perplexed and unsure Samuel is about who is calling out to him because after all, he is “sleeping in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was.” (1Sm 3:3) Anyway, because he is not sure of God’s voice, he sends himself into a small frenzy trying to decipher why Eli is calling out to him. In a way, our lives of faith aren’t much different. After all, we pray, we attend youth group/ministry and we go to Mass, but if we hear God’s voice directly, we are shocked, or quite possibly even ignore it. In these moments, we must stay attentive for the opportunities in which the Lord will speak to us directly for His purpose. Just because we are unsure of hearing His voice directly for the first time, we still must reply confidently, just like Samuel, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” (1Sm 3:10) As a young adult, God has great things in store which you have not been called into yet, but will be revealed when you acknowledge His voice.
On the flip side, the Gospel is a much different story because it is speaking about those who are already attentive. Jesus’ presence is the ultimate caller ID; He doesn’t need to speak a word for the disciples to know He is the Messiah and begin to follow Him. Christ had already made Himself known to them to help guide them into a new level of discipleship. For us, the minute we recognize He is before us we will run to Him immediately. We will answer His call confidently because we are sure it is our Lord.
As a Catholic Christian, you know God is calling you every single day. Your choice becomes whether you are going to make yourself aware to pick up and find out what it all means or simply ignore His desire to talk to you. In taking time to pray, we are constantly offering our thoughts or needs; why shouldn’t we expect Him to talk back? You might hide it in your heart or disguise things as “wishes” instead of prayers, but ultimately He knows your heart and His plan for you. Take time to recognize when He is trying to get in touch with you in order to reveal what He desires for you. The time and attention you give Him is what separates you from the rest of the world.