Jan 15 (1 Sam 3:1-10, 19-20 and Mk 1:29-38 – 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Year 2, Cycle A)

“Soaking in the Presence of the Lord to allow His  Radiance to prophetically shine through us!”

A simple house-wife who was sharing in a prayer group about her life of faith, said:

“You know, my prayer life is very much groomed by the works that I do in my day to day life, at home.

Take the simple example of washing the dinner plates that sometimes, is left out overnight.

>> Cleaning these overnight left dishes, in the morning, is really a hard task – you need to scrub them really hard!

But a simple, though patient alternative, is to soak the dish in hot water and a dishwashing liquid!

>> Letting the dish abide in the hot water solution will allow the cleaning job to become much easier!

This simple example has taught me an important lesson for life: Remaining soaked in the Presence of the Lord, slowly, but surely has its great cleansing and shining effect in my life!”

Do we let ourselves to be “soaked in the Presence of the Lord”…

… to allow – perhaps a slow – but a sure cleansing and shining effect to take place in our life!

The Reading of the day (1 Sam 3:1-10, 19-20) describes one of the very popular “call narratives” of the Bible – the call of Samuel – who needed some time of “soaking in the Presence of the Lord”…

… which would slowly, but surely, help him be cleansed and to shine with the radiance of the Lord!

The story begins with a symbolic description of the settings of the call:

“At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was.” (1 Sam 3:2-3)

Eli, the priest’s eyes are described as being “dim” – probably symbolic of a weakened spiritual vision.

>> It points to the weak spiritual strength of the people of Israel, who had moved away from ways of God

Are my eyes “weak and dim?”

>> Do I need to strengthen my spiritual vision by recognizing and acknowledging His Presence closer to me?

The narrative states that “that the lamp of God” had not yet gone yet.

>> The priests were required to keep the lamps burning in the temple every night from evening until morning. (Exo 27:21)

This is a great statement of hope

>> Even though Israel as a nation were unfaithful to the Lord and had moved away into a state of “dimness”…

… the “lamp of God” was still burning with love for them, inviting them to repentance and righteousness!

This is the beauty of God’s Love: Even though people were away from Him, He did not forsake them nor abandon them!

>> He would raise up holy men – judges, prophets, kings…and finally His Own Son (Jn 1:14)…

… to redeem humankind!

It’s in this context that the boy Samuel is called by the Lord.

It is interesting to note that even though “Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was” (1 Sam 3:3), the boy did not recognize that it was the Lord Who was calling him.

>> He would even go to Eli, the priest, thinking it was he who called; and even Eli failed initially, to recognize that it was the Lord’s Voice.

How often this can happen in our lives as well!

>> We fail to hear the voice of the Lord in the many situations and circumstances

>> We seldom understand that it is the Lord Who speaks to us, through various people and contexts of life

But Eli and the boy Samuel had the great humility and the docility to remain open…

… to understand, gradually, that it was the Lord Who was addressing them!

This then is the great lesson for all of us:

>> When we remain open and docile to the Voice of God, we experience His Mighty Presence!

>> When we become patient, still and humble before God Almighty, He blesses us with us Awesome Encounter!

The prayer of the little boy, Samuel ought to become our prayer as well: “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Sam 3:10)

Samuel would slowly but surely understand the profoundness and the primacy of saying Yes to the Lord!

>> It would require him to stand firm for God even in the face of many persecutions and trials!

>> It would demand from them to witness the Presence of God even when the nation felt His absence!

Jesus in the Gospel is an epitome of being zealous and passionate for the Kingdom…

… reaching out to all people who were in need and were in distress

… clear-cut in proclaiming the Good News without seeking for any self-glory

… and totally focussed and committed in seeking and doing the Will of the Father!

The call of every Christian is this prophetic call…

… just like Samuel

… just like Jesus

>> Standing firm for God even when things don’t go on well in life!

>> Reaching out to those in need, without seeking for one’s own name and fame!

>> Witnessing the Presence of God to others, even when others fail to see or even deny His Presence!

Do we let ourselves to be “soaked in the Presence of the Lord”…

… to allow – perhaps a slow – but a sure cleansing and shining effect to take place in our life!

May the dwelling in the Presence of the Lord

… through daily prayer

… through a meaningful Sacramental Life

… through reading the Word of God regularly

… through reaching out God’s Compassion and Mercy to the needy

… enable each of us to be Radiant in His Love and to always say: “Behold Lord, I come to do Your Will!” (Cf. Ps 40:8)

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “What we need is a cup of understanding, a barrel of love…

… and an ocean of patience!”

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