1 Samuel 3:3B-10, 19
Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord
where the ark of God was.
The Lord called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.”
Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.”
“I did not call you, ” Eli said. “Go back to sleep.”
So he went back to sleep.
Again the Lord called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli.
“Here I am, ” he said. “You called me.”
But Eli answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.”
At that time Samuel was not familiar with the Lord,
because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet.
The Lord called Samuel again, for the third time.
Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.”
Then 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.”
Samuel grew up, and the Lord was with him,
not permitting any word of his to be without effect.
Samuel, who is believed to have lived in 11th century B.C., is venerated as a prophet by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. According to 1 Samuel (the most important account of his life and acts), he anointed both Saul and David, the first two kings of the Kingdom of Israel, and acted as counselor to both.
Christians regard Samuel as a prophet, judge, and wise leader of Israel. He is celebrated and commemorated by the Eastern Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, and Lutheran Churches.
“Speak, for your servant is listening.”
So how are we to listen? Here are some suggestions:
(1) Ask: With a humble heart, ask our Lord to counsel, enlighten and guide you, especially when you are before the tabernacle or have just received Holy Communion.
(2) Listen: God speaks to us in many ways —
- As a flash of understanding.
- As a still, small voice in our mind.
- In the Bible: God is always speaking through His Word, so apply what you read to your life. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
- In a dream or vision: St. Joseph was told by an angel to “not be afraid to take Mary as your wife” (Matthew 1:20). St. Peter fell into a trance (see Acts 10:10). St. Paul had supernatural encounters—whether in the body or out of the body (see 2 Cor. 12:13). St. John wrote the entire book of Revelation based on a supernatural vision.
- Through our surroundings in our daily lives: God spoke to Solomon through his practical experiences, an account of which is in Proverbs 24:30-34: “I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles covered its surface, and the stone wall was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it; I looked on it and received instruction: Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep, so your poverty will come like a stalker, and your need as an armed man.” If we heed our surroundings, are mindful, and maintain a listening ear, we’ll find that God speaks to us through many things as we go about our everyday lives.
(3) And always remember to tell God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit that you love Him with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength.
May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!