Responding and acting out of love for the Lord

       Remember when you were a child? Or perhaps you are now a parent and experience the frustration first hand. It goes like this…

      “Bobby (Susie, John, Mary, etc.), I need you to come now.”


      “Bobby, did you hear me, I need you to come here now; it’s time for dinner (school, bath, homework, etc.)”

      (No response)

      “Bobby, I said now!”

      Child or parent, I dare say everyone has played out that scenario at one time or another. It’s called selective hearing and we all do it.

      In today’s first reading (1 Sm 3:3B-10, 19), Samuel heard the call but had no idea who was calling.

      “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 (an elderly priest and judge of Israel) and said, ‘Here I am. You called me.’”

      Well, we know it wasn’t Eli calling but this played out two more times before Eli pointed out to Samuel that it was most likely the Lord calling. If you are called again, he told Samuel, be sure to reply, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”

      We’ve all heard God calling. It’s inevitable; it’s part of who we are as children of God. Our Creator likes to communicate with us but we most often employ that technique of selective hearing: we’re too busy to hear; we don’t have time to be bothered; we can’t imagine who might be calling. Or, it’s like having caller ID. If the phone rings and we don’t like or want to speak to the person who’s calling, we simply don’t answer. We have other things to do, people to see and places to go.

      God tries – God wants – to communicate with his children. How it must hurt when we turn the other way, listening to the voices of others over our loving God.

      But Samuel finally caught on and he answered God’s call. As a result, “Samuel grew up, and the Lord was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect.”

      Today’s Gospel (Jn 1:35-42) also teaches us about faith and listening for God to call.

      John was standing with two of his buddies when Jesus walked by. John makes, what would certainly be considered, a curious statement: “Behold, the Lamb of God.”

      John’s friends had to wonder what the heck he was he talking about! But they followed Jesus, called him Rabbi (teacher). Something spoke, not only to their heads, but to their hearts – their inner beings – and they listened and they followed.

      They asked Jesus where he was staying and Jesus answered, “Come, and you will see,” words that have deeper meaning than just wanting to show John and company his lodgings. The Gospel tells us they stayed with Jesus that day; we know they stayed with him from that moment on.

That is what it means to listen to God calling. That is what it means to have trust in the Lord. Listening and answering when God calls is what we are called to do if we profess a true love for the Lord. It’s what it means to be people of faith. Listening and answering. Responding and acting.

      Speak Lord, I am listening.

      Come, he will answer, and you will see!


      Debbie Bosak is the editor and general manager of Northwest Indiana Catholic Publications and a member of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Merrillville. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  

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