Engaging a Call

Engaging a Call

Sunday’s Readings

The first time I heard God calling me I was seven years old. I spent countless hours crawling around my parish altar when my mom arranged flowers and watered plants as a volunteer. Playing at the foot of the wooden cross affixed to the back of the altar, I heard a voice say to me, “thank you”. I went to the back sacristy and asked my mom if she had spoken to me. She had not.

The second time I heard God calling me I was a sophomore in college. I was at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. With my eyes closed during the prayer service, I suddenly heard a voice from deep in my heart asking me, “are you willing to lay down your life for the world you seek?” I opened my eyes and looked around me. I knew in my heart of hearts that the voice came from within me. At that time, I was self-righteous and judgemental all for the sake of so-called “justice”. It was easier for me to shame others for eating a Hershey bar than it was to engage in a loving conversation.

Engaging a Call

How at odds were my actions and my hopes for justice! So my honest response to God in that ballroom was “no”. I was awakening to injustices of the world and responded with righteous anger. But I didn’t want to face the internal work I would have to do if I were to surrender myself for the world I sought.

In this Sunday’s first reading, we hear the story of Samuel’s call. He hears a voice calling to him in the night and mistakenly thinks it’s his mentor, Eli. After several instances, Eli realizes that God is calling Samuel and instructs Samuel to engage with availability. Samuel does so by responding “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

When have we heard God calling and mistaken it for someone or something else? When have we responded to God’s call in ways that were unloving, all in the name of righteousness? How might we now listen with an attitude of service?

3 replies
  1. Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    “How might we now listen with an attitude of service?” Teresa ldraws us to reflect on the words of Samuel from Sunday’s Gospel.. At different times when I saw people in need of clothing or money, I heard God calling me to serve the person right in front of me. I loved when he asked as I had to respond in love to my beloved. It is interesting that the person did not always feel grateful but were sometimes annoyed at my offering. I tried to reframe what we were doing and begged them to respond to my offering. A couple of years ago, I gave away my winter coat to a person who was from the South. She had never experienced our cold winters. She was hesitant but did say she would take it. I went to a place where it would not be noticeable and gave the coat. She asked me why and I told her that God had called me to do so. Several years later I got a note from her saying how much that coat kept her warm and thinking about responding to God’s call in her lfie. She works on the weekends in a homeless shelter and invites God to be with her. “Speak Lord, for your servant hearith.”

  2. sonja
    sonja says:

    God gave us talents to share with others. So if I feel someone would benefit from sharing my God given talents with them, I don’t hesitate to ask them. Sometimes it prompts others to also ask me for my service. The difficulty I find is to ask God for help when I need it and give others the opportunity to serve me. It is so easy to be downtrodden. But that’s not what God asks of us. He wants us to live a life of abundance, so we can give to others without counting the cost.


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