Listening to the Divine Whisper

The prophet Samuel is one of the most intriguing persons in the Old Testament. The Books of Samuel are believed to have been written in the 7th century B.C. Samuel’s special role in God’s plan is highlighted by the story of his call. He is God’s chosen servant, raised as a priest later given a prophetic ministry. He became a military leader, or judge, Israel’s last. He anointed Israel’s first two kings. The major institutions of priest-prophet, and judge are all found in this one man.

The Call

The First Reading (1 Samuel 3:3-10,19) on the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time is the calling of Samuel. While he was sleeping, a voice calls his name three times which Samuel thinks is the voice of Eli. The aged priest recognises the divine nature of the calling and instructs the young boy how to respond, “speak Lord, your servant is listening.”

The Answer

Samuel’s responsiveness to the heavenly whisper teaches us about the importance of listening in order to deepen our divine connection. It is a reminder that in the hectic, noisiness of our days, taking time for reflection and finding moments of contemplation are important, and necessary for our spiritual health. God desires to be in communion with us. He calls to us, maybe softly at first, wanting us to listen.

The Transformation

Samuel’s prophetic journey began when he surrendered himself to God. The Lord was with him as he grew, shaping his destiny and leaving a mark on those he touched. Samuel’s life is a confirmation of the transformative power of listening to the divine whisper. Our lives are guided and we must be open and receptive to God’s persistent call. It is in the silent corners of our lives where profound encounters with God can happen. He will always have a plan for us, no matter where we are in life.