January 14, 2018
I think it is fairly safe to say that there has never been a time in human history when there have been as many different ways to communicate as there are in this day and age. We have
- telephones, cell phones and pagers;
- intercoms and public address systems;
- faxes, telegrams, flyers, and newsletters;
- radios, televisions, billboards, utube videos;
- websites, blogs, facebook, snapchat, twitter;
- snail mail, express mail, email, and instant messages.
It is ironic that with so many different ways to communicate, it seems we do less and less every year.
Just as there are many different ways that people communicate with one another, the Bible gives many examples of how God reaches out to people: dreams (Joseph in the Old Testament and Saint Joseph in the New Testmant), visions (the Prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah), the beauty of creation , history (freeing God’s people from slavery in Egypt), life events (such as birth and serious illness), the Bible, the Church, other people (Patriarchs and Apostles) and best of all in the person of Jesus Christ.
In that wonderful reading from the First Book of Samuel, we are taught five things about how God calls people.
First, age has no bearing. Samuel and Jeremiah were young; Simeon & Mother Theresa were old.
Experience and talent are not necessary. Moses had a speech impediment & St. John Vianney was thought too stupid to ever be ordained a priest).
God is persistent. We just heard that God had to call Samuel three times to get through to him. Although God’s chosen people wandered away from God, God never gave up on them.
God is patient. The project Jonah ran away from God before he did God’s will. Saint Augustine famously prayed, “Make me chaste, but not yet.
God’s call is not always apparent to us. At first, Samuel didn’t realize God was calling him. Eli had to tell him. Some never thought of become a priest, Deacon, or religious Brother or Sister until someone suggested they ought to consider it.
What is our response is to all of this? The words of Samuel is a prayer to use and take to heart. “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
Be OPEN and say “YES!”