Here I am, Lord

Here I am, Lord, your servant is listening.

These were important words spoken by Samuel in the first reading this past weekend. If you recall the story, Samuel is under the tutelage of Eli. During the night, Samuel hears a voice calling him. He understandably thinks it is his teacher, Eli, who is asleep in the temple. Samuel gets up and lets Eli know that his call has been heard.

Three times Samuel undergoes this process of call and response. It is after the third time that Eli understands what is happening; that the Lord is calling Samuel. Eli encourages Samuel to respond, “Here I am Lord, your servant is listening.”

These words really hit me this last weekend. They’ve been lingering with me since. I can’t quite tell if it is the interaction between pupil and teacher that strikes me. I can’t quite tell if it is the openness of Samuel to the will of God that strikes me. I can’t quite tell if it is the wisdom of Eli that strikes me. It might simply be the response all by itself that strikes me. It might very well be all the above.

It is an endearing tale that could, quite simply, encompass the experiences of all of us; hearing the voice of God and questioning whether or not you are hearing it.

How did Eli figure it out in order to counsel Samuel? Well, Eli knew God, and he led a prayerful, devoted life. Do you have someone who fits that role for you – a person who can help you hear God in your life? I do.

Here I am, Lord, your servant is listening.

Jill Fischer is Principal of St Dominic Catholic School.