Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we continue to hear about the story of the prophet and judge Samuel, during his early years, when he began to stay with Eli the judge, after having been dedicated to God’s service by his mother Hannah. Samuel did not really know God yet, as he was still very young, and he was called by Him, hearing the words, “Samuel! Samuel!” in the middle of the night.
Samuel asked Eli if he had called him, but at first Eli also did not know that it was God who called Samuel. This happened three times, until Eli recognised the truth. And Eli instructed Samuel to respond to the Lord’s call. And Samuel responded to the Lord by saying, “Lord, speak, for Your servant is listening.” And God told Samuel all that He wanted to tell him, and His grace and favour rested upon Samuel.
In the Gospel passage we heard today, we heard about the ministry of Our Lord Jesus Christ, after He had healed the mother-in-law of St. Peter, who was quite ill. He cured her from her fever and illness, and she was restored to good health. Many others brought their own sick relatives, and also those who were possessed by evil spirits and those who were afflicted in one way or another.
And the Lord healed all of them, and ministered to them. Many more came to Him and wanted to be healed by Him, and naturally they would want Him to stay with them at their place, and not to depart for any other place. Yet, the Lord Jesus chose to depart from that place to go to other places, and when His disciples asked Him, He explained that He was called to serve the people of God, not just in that one place, and many others needed Him as well.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s Scripture passages remind us about the value and the importance of discipleship and following the Lord, Our God. Each and every one of us as Christians are called and indeed have been called by the Lord, just as He has called Samuel to do His will, in the capacity he was led and taught to be, as the judge of the people of Israel and as His prophet.
Similarly therefore, as St. Paul mentioned in his Epistle to the Corinthians, that there are many kinds of spiritual gifts and talents which God has given to all of us His people. We are then called to embrace and to make use of these gifts, following on the path which He has shown us, or which He will show us in the future, that through us and our good works, we may glorify the Lord’s Name ever more.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, now, let us all reflect on our own lives and actions. What have we done in response to the Lord’s call? Have we responded positively to His call and listened to Him, just as His servant Samuel had done? Or have we instead turned a deaf ear to His call and closed our hearts from Him? He has given us the free will and the choice to choose between obedience and disobedience, and between listening and not listening. It is then our choice to choose between the two.
Let us all as Christians seek to devote ourselves ever more wholeheartedly to the Lord, by first of all, answering His call and listening to Him speaking in the deepest parts of our being, that we may truly be able to understand and perceive what He has willed for us, and what He wants us to use our talents and spiritual gifts, in each and our own way.
Let us all work together, as members of God’s one and holy Church, that we will be able to actively participate in the good works of the Church, for the good of all men and women, and to glorify the Lord at all times. May the Lord be with us always, and may He continue to strengthen our faith, so that we will be able to respond His call with courage and hope. May God bless us all. Amen.