Eli understood that the Lord was calling the youth.
So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply,
Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
When Samuel went to sleep in his place,
the Lord came and revealed his presence,
calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Sm 3:8c-10)
It seems that a large part of our human nature involves wanting to be heard. That is why today’s reading about Eli and Samuel go so much against our human nature. The reading tells us that it is more important to listen than to be heard.
If we spend our time listening, we have to place ourselves second. That, too, goes against our human nature. We like to be first in all things. That desire starts from the moment that we are born and continues through most of our lives.
In our desire to be first in all things and wanting to be heard, we often miss a lot. Our focus becomes solely upon ourselves. We do not hear the plight of the poor. We do not hear the call of the needy. We do not hear the voice of God.
Why? Because we are focused inward rather than outward.
Eli knew that.
It had been a long time since God had spoken to his people; however, when Eli realized that it must have been the Lord who was calling out to Samuel, Eli instructed Samuel to say what we should all say: “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
If we can attune ourselves to listening to others rather than demanding that others listen to us, we will have more of a chance to hear the Lord when He calls.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God to give you the grace to listen to His word and to respond to His call.