Posted by: fvbcdm | January 14, 2012

Feast of Saint Hilary (13 Jan 2012)

This weekend’s Friday is Friday the 13th, so if you want, you can imagine some spooky organ music playing in the background, as in the old Frankenstein or Dracula movies. Having been born on Friday the 13th, though, I can’t afford to be superstitious!

This Sunday, we have a delightful example of God’s calling us in the first reading at Mass.  The Lord calls a young boy who is sleeping in the tent of meeting, which was the first version of the temple which eventually supplanted it.  The child, Samuel, heard the call and went to the priest Eli sleeping nearby. The boy said to the priest “You called me?  What do you want?”  “I didn’t call you, my son; go back to bed.”  This happened three times.  Then the priest Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy, and he instructed the boy to reply the next time, “Speak, Lord; your servant is listening.”  

That simple answer of the child Samuel is profoundly important for us.  All our lives we are hearing calls. Not necessarily our names being called by an audible human voice, but rather the call of our parents rearing us according to their understanding of how we should be reared. The call of our family’s financial condition; the call of our physical health and well-being; the call of our intellectual gifts that made school either easy or difficult for us; the call of friends, of neighbors, the call of the person we married, if we married anyone.  When we hear those calls, if we are wise, we will recognize the voice of God in them.  And the most appropriate reply we can make is exactly what Eli instructed Samuel to say: “Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.”  I suggest that we all get into the habit of responding that way to all the things that happen to us, especially the surprises and unforeseen occurrences.  Good news; bad news; the offer of a better job; of a better place to live; we win the lottery; we lose our shirts on the stock market; a miscarriage; a case of shingles; “speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”  I see your divine hand in this, now help me to know what to do with it. Help me to incorporate it into a life of faith, of love, of service to You, my dear Lord.  Help me to make apple pie with the apples you hand me, or lemonade with the lemons you send my way.  Speak, Lord; your servant is listening, trusting, waiting.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.


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