Today’s mass reading–beautifully set at the beginning of Ordinary Time–is the call of the boy Samuel. He is serving in the tabernacle when he hears the call of God in the night. He runs to old Eli and wakes him up twice before the old man tells him to respond to the voice of the Lord.
So he says, “Here I am Lord. Your servant is listening.”
I am convinced that many do not hear the voice of the Lord because they do not wish to hear the voice of the Lord, and what troubles and puzzles me most is that those who most do not wish to hear the voice of the Lord are the religious people.
I am so tired of nice, all together religious people who treat religion as the cherry on top of the cake of their beautiful, organized, prosperous lives. How can they hear the voice of the Lord when their ears are full of the noise of their own wonderfulness?
Instead, behold this child in his innocence, who hears the voice of the Lord calling in the night. First he is able to hear the voice of the Lord because he is already serving him. Second, he can hear the voice of the Lord because he has the trusting heart of a child–free of doubt and cynicism and fear. Third, he responds to the voice of the Lord with simplicity and total trust.
He has no fear. He has no concerns. He does not worry about what other people think of him. He is like the birds of the air and the flowers of the field.