Servanthood. In today’s readings we see young, devout followers of great teachers, Samuel, apprentice of Eli, and Andrew, follower of Saint John the Baptist, learn to see past their human mentors and hear the call of the Lord. Both immediately turn their focus to the Lord and offer themselves to follow His call. And we see two humble leaders who know that their job is to train up their faithful followers until it is time to turn them over directly to the Lord’s service.
It brings to mind the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Annunciation. The Holy Spirit calls her “full of grace.” Clearly someone had formed and trained Mary in her faith. But she had also been ready to hear and follow the voice of the Spirit when it called to her and her time had come. She opens herself in a posture of servitude to that call, much the way Samuel responded to God’s call when he finally learned to recognize his voice: “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10) “I am the humble slave of the Lord, be unto to me according to his word” echoes Mary. (Luke 1:38) “Rabbi,” says Andrew, “Where are you staying?” submitting himself to this teacher he moments later calls the Christ, the Messiah. (John 1:38)
Every reading shows us a person who hears God’s voice and immediately responds by offering himself as servant to the Lord’s call. But the first step is learning to hear the voice of the Spirit speak. Saint Paul tells us the Holy Spirit dwells in us as gift, that we are holy temples of His presence. (1 Corinthians 6:19) Are we training our ears in prayer to hear the voice inside that directs us toward God’s call? And are we strengthening our wills in virtue to respond with the heart of a servant when we hear that call?
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Let us look to Samuel, to Andrew, to Mary, for inspiration. And let us look deep inside our own hearts to make ready. For the Lord will undoubtedly call. May we all answer with ready hearts.
Colleen Mitchell is a wife, bringer upper of boys, Gospel adventurer, wanna-be saint, author and speaker. She is the author of the award-winning Who Does He Say You Are: Women Transformed by Christ in the Gospels, and the soon to be released When We Were Eve: Uncovering the Woman God Created You to Be. Her latest adventure has taken her from the jungle of Costa Rica where she and her family have served as missionaries for the last six years, to the wilds of a sixth grade classroom in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she is still living her mission to give everyone she meets just a little Jesus. You can find out more about her here.