January 17, 2021
by Kimberly Grassmeyer
Creighton University's Graduate College
click here for photo and information about the writer

Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 65

1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19
Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10
1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20
John 1:35-42

Praying Ordinary Time


Today’s Old Testament lesson shares the story of a young Samuel.  He is awakened several times in the night by a voice calling his name, but because he was not yet familiar with the Lord, did not realize who it was that had been speaking.  Eli, who had likewise been awakened because of Samuel’s earnestness to respond on being called, realized that it must have been God who was speaking to Samuel, and encouraged him to respond to the voice the next time with the words “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”  Ultimately, Samuel again heard the voice calling to him, and did respond as directed, beginning a life-long relationship with his Lord. 

My first reaction on reading this was a memory of my grandmother, who sought to teach me as a young girl to read the bible and strengthen my faith.  She demonstrated God’s love through her actions and her words, and I’ve always tried to emulate her example.  Because of her, I pray regularly and I talk TO God, but I can’t say that I talk WITH God, or have a conversation with God.  I’ve never heard God speak to me – at least not in the way that Samuel did.  Like many of you, I suspect, I seek God and I regularly find God, in a breeze on my cheek or in the laughter of a child.  Or, maybe in an answered prayer, I understand that God has spoken to me through action.  In those moments I fabricate an interpretation in my head of the grace or the lesson that God has sent to me. 

I’ve been encouraged by others – the gentle and wise Fr. Larry Gillick, S.J. among them – that I might try quieting my mind and my heart.  That in being at peace, with an open heart, I might listen and hear. LISTEN.  It’s such a powerful word and a loving act.  If you need that advice also, I’m happy to share it with you!  And I’ll pray for all of us that we can be still, know that God is with us, and to hear God’s voice as young Samuel did.  Amen.

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