Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook


Father Muench Says...

 ‘Speak Lord, your servant is listening’

Jan. 24, 2018

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

“Here I am Lord.  Speak, your servant it listening.”
Often, when I am away from home – like visiting the family – I attend Mass with them on a Sunday in the pews like a real person.  It is a good experience for me, especially to listen to another priest’s homily.

So, a few weeks ago I attended Mass while away from the North Country.  The pastor there preached a magnificent homily so I thought I would share some of it with you today.The First Reading on that Sunday was from the First Book of Samuel with the story concerning the young Samuel.  Samuel was acting as a helper to the High Priest, Eli.  Each night Samuel would stay in the shrine near the Ark of the Covenant. 

On one particular night, Samuel received a revelation of some sort from God, however, he thought it was Eli calling to him.  Eli realized that something special, something divine, was happening.  It was some sort of revelation for Samuel. So, Eli instructed Samuel to put faith in the experience; he was to say in response to God’s call – “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”

In his homily, our priest began by telling us a couple of stories from his own youth when he was called by someone in his family.  One of his memories was about his own grandfather.  When he was young, his grandfather would often stop by to wake him up and take him on an adventure of some sort.  Obviously, this experience meant a great deal to our preacher – his grandfather had a profound effect on his growing up.

He encouraged each of us to recall times in our own life when we received a call.  I thought of times in my childhood when one of my friends would come out of his house after school or supper and he would stand in the street and call.  It was our time to get together.We were then reminded that God continues to call people just as he called Samuel, so long ago.  Listening to the Lord is an important part of our time of prayer.  Listening is just as important as saying prayers. 

So, we should begin our time of prayer with Samuel’s prayer: “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”

I believe that each time we go to the Lord in prayer, the Lord has a word, a message for us, truly a miraculous message.  Some may think this is only an experience for some great prophet or a monk in a monastery. 

Surprisingly, I want to guarantee you that this is an experience that will touch all of us.  The Lord God reaches out to us with a loving challenge so let us listen and recognize the Lord’s call.

In God’s love, we will understand and realize the Lord’s call to us.  God has a message for us, a new message, a true call. It may be though a Scripture or it may be through some other person or it may come through a prayerful moment as we listen in prayer.

Our preacher that day then challenged us, reminding us that God continues to call many to pursue a religious vocation.  He encouraged us by our prayers and encouragement to actually lead another, to lead a young person, to realize that the Lord continues to call many to follow a religious vocation.  The Lord continues to call so many to become priests, to dedicate their lives to the Lord.

He went on to remind us how desperately our Catholic Church needs more and more dedicated priests to bring the Lord to all especially through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.  Our Church needs more and more priests to bring the Lord’s message of love and peace to a needy world.  Our Lord, Jesus, needs more and more priests to bring his love and peace to people everywhere.  Our Lord, Jesus, needs more and more priests to transform our world into a place of peace and love.

So, our call is that with Jesus we are the perfect person to bring Christ’s love and peace to our world.  By our prayers, by our way of life, we will lead others closer to the Lord… and we may even lead some to follow a religious vocation.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.