Pastor’s Corner 1/17/2021

Responding to God

In my years in the seminary I recall some men who longed for a clear call from God about their vocation. Often, God’s voice isn’t as clear as we’d like and we have to discern the nudges we receive. In the first reading today God is trying to speak with Samuel and only through guidance from his mentor Eli does Samuel make an appropriate response: “Speak, for your servant is listening.” In today’s gospel, more guidance is seen when Andrew takes his brother Simon (later called Peter) to Jesus.
 
It is so important to have mentors in our faith journey, those who lead us to Jesus. These may be teachers, priests, monks, sisters, deacons, parents, peers, etc. Sometimes we receive guidance from a stranger, from the writer of a book or from the simplicity of a child. The most important aspect in responding to God is openness. We must be open for surprises, to God speaking through those we don’t expect and in ways we don’t expect. We need to be open to God speaking to us through challenging circumstances (like COVID) and through the ordinary events of our lives.
 
As we return to Ordinary Time and the green liturgical color, we are reminded that God does appear at all times, and quite often, in ordinary ways. Like Samuel in the first reading, we need to open ourselves to the presence and voice of God. Let us honestly say to our God, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” I pray that during the ordinary times of our lives and during the Ordinary Time of the Church year, we can be open and responsive to God’s call. Peace.

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