The first reading can be divided into three segments: (1) the triple call of Samuel; (2) God reveals his presence in response to Samuel’s readiness; and (3) Samuel would proclaim what he had heard,

We find this same pattern in our vocation as believers. Three times Samuel is called and he fails to recognize that the source is not Eli but almighty God. Eli has to assist him and tells him to respond, on the fourth time, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” Every Christian believer is summoned to be a prophet and that requires that we too might discern the voice of God, As such we must be attentive and listen closely, We need to know the difference lest we find ourselves seduced by the world and listening to the wrong voices. These voices appeal to selfishness and sin. What do they tell us? “If it feels good then do it. You owe nothing to anyone. No one can tell you what to do,

What does God say? “Love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends. If you desire perfection than sell all you have, give to the poor and then follow me. Forgive all wrongs. Love those who hate you.” I suspect that many of us sometimes listen to the wrong voices. Ours is a jealous God and he does not want to share us. Note also that Samuel kept going back to sleep. Our Lord speaks about such sleep as the weakness of a fallen nature. “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

As prophets we are beckoned as sentinels or watchmen for the Lord. We are called to be awake so as to hear the Lord and to be attentive when he comes.

As the second reading reminds us, we “are not [our] own, [we] have been purchased at a price,” and while in the flesh or the body mimic the angels in glorifying God. The psalm reiterates our divine calling. God takes the initiative and sows the seed of faith within us. God places the “new song” upon our lips, giving us his mind and the words to say. God is the one who opens our ears so that we might hear and obey him. God has planted his “law within [our] hearts.” All this must be appreciated in the context of the gift. It is not enough to encounter God. We must deepen the relationship with him. We cannot speak his Good News if we do not know him. God wants our hearts. Any who would be counted a disciple must love the Lord. This is what transforms fidelity from an arduous and reluctant duty to an eager and joyous service. Just as Eli alerted Samuel to the calling and presence of God.

John the Baptizer points Jesus out to his disciples as “the Lamb of God.” They immediately follow him. Andrew brings his brother Simon to Jesus, telling him, “We have found the Messiah.” When Jesus asks as to what they are seeking, they merely ask where he is staying. Jesus responds, “Come, and you will see.” Our Lord gives the same invitation to you and me. We are invited into the story of Jesus, the very story of salvation. He wants us to walk with him and to listen to him. He reveals himself in the Scriptures, the teachings of the Church and in the quiet whisper we hear at prayer.

Anyone who responds to the calling of God are not left unchanged. Do we take time each day to pray and quietly listen for the Lord? Have we made our lives too busy for God to reach us? Are we truly prophets of the Lord or do we belong to the world?