Speak Lord, your servant is listening – Fr. Mark


Second Sunday In Ordinary Time – Year B

Fr. Mark Gatto

Preached: Jan 14, 2018

A few years ago there was a movie called Gravity. Sandra Bullock is an astronaut on the Space Station involved in an accident. She ends up alone on a small craft with no contact with anyone back on the earth. At one moment as she expects to die alone there in space she says, it is sad that there is no one back on earth to pray for her, as she was a single mother whose only child had died a few years before. Then she says, that she would pray, but she did not know how to pray as no one ever taught her to pray.

How fortunate we are that someone taught us to pray. Who taught you to pray?
Parent, Grandparents, a teacher, a priest.

In the story of Samuel, he is a young boy, who it says did not yet know the Lord. He is hearing his name being called, so he goes to Eli, the older, experienced man of God to see if he had called him. After a while Eli understands what is happening, so he tells Samuel to go back and if he hears his name being called he is to say, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” Eli was teaching Samuel to pray.

Those simple words make a great prayer. “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” Begin each day in that spirit, go through your day listening to the Lord in all you see, all you experience, all you hear, everyone you meet. What is God saying to you through it all?

Sometimes we think of prayer as something to make us feel good, bring us peace, comfort. But there is also the great risk of prayer. Good prayer is risky, because it means we are listening. God might ask something of us. Our Responsorial Psalm today, “Here I am o Lord, I come to do your will.” That is very risky. God will actually ask something of us.

In the Gospel we see some future Apostles of Jesus come to meet him. Jesus calls to them, Come and See. The go and spend time with Jesus. They watch him, listen to him, see what he does.

This is prayer, to spend time with Jesus. Sit and read from the Gospels, spending time with Jesus, watching how he acts, how he teaches. We can also just sit quietly, spending time with Jesus without saying a word.

Prayer is a great gift. Be thankful to that person or persons who taught you to pray. Keep learning to pray. Remember, that prayer is a risk. God might ask something of you.

All prayer should be rooted in the spirit of the prayer that Eli teaches Samuel
“Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”


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