“The practice of discernment is a part of higher consciousness. Discernment is not just a step up from judgment. In life’s curriculum, it is the opposite of judgment. Through judgment a person reveals what he needs to confront and learn. Through discernment, one reveals what he has mastered.” ~ Glenda Green
Today’s scriptures speak to us about discernment. They contain some of my favorite bible stories. The first reading is about Samuel and his teacher Eli. Samuel was dedicated to God and was in the temple learning from his master, Eli. Eli had been well versed in the ways of the Lord; but, for a long time, God had not been speaking to His people.
When Samuel began to hear the call of God in His sleep, he went to Eli, thinking that his teacher was calling him. Eli merely sent him back to bed, that is, until Eli realized that it was God who was calling the youth. So, he instructed Samuel, the next time he would hear the voice, to say, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” Samuel did just that and began a close relationship with God.
In today’s Gospel, we hear about the call of some of the first Apostles. John the Baptist pointed at Jesus and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Two of John’s disciples left John in order to follow Jesus. One of them was Andrew, the brother of Simon. Andrew brought his brother to Jesus and Jesus said that Simon would be called Peter. They left all that they had to follow Jesus.
Learning what to do, what voice to listen to, what command to follow takes a great amount of discernment. The more we pray and reflect, the better we will be able to discern the voice of God when He speaks to us. And He does speak to us. It is not often direct, as it was in the case of Samuel. Most often, it is through the words and actions of those around us.
If we are open to all the possibilities of God, we will not miss Him when He speaks to us. We need to make a conscious decision to keep our eyes, minds, and hearts open for the Lord. Then, as Samuel did, we need to invite Him to speak to us. And, as Samuel, Andrew, and Simon Peter, we need to accept His invitation to follow, no matter where He may lead.
FAITH ACTION: Make time to sit in silence today, keeping yourself open to hear the Lord call to you, knowing that it may come in a variety of ways.