In today's first reading, 1 Samuel 3: 1-10, 19-20, God calls Samuel three times during his sleep. Each time, not familiar with the Lord, "because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet," Samuel gets up and goes to his master Eli and says: "Here I am; you called me." After the third time, Eli, realizing that the Lord is calling Samuel, counsels him to go back to sleep and if you are called again, say: "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening."
How often do you and I not recognize the Lord calling us, as He "had not [yet] revealed anything" to us. It is God's desire to communicate with us, as He did to Eli and so many others through time. That God calls to each of us is no secret. Age is not a factor. God has spoken to children, adolescents, young and older adults, as well as persons advanced in age. What we need to realize is that God speaks to you and me. We need to ask the Lord for the grace to be listening. Sometimes God communicates to us directly. At other times God sends an intermediary: a friend, a spouse, a son or daughter, a co-worker, a counselor, a teacher, someone in the medical field--in short, anyone He so chooses. Are we listening? Or is our mind made up? Do we dismiss the message because of the messenger? Do we play God?
In the responsorial psalm for today's liturgy, we pray: Blessed the man [woman] who makes the Lord [one's] trust; who turns not to idolatry or to those who stray after falsehood." How does one learn to trust the Lord? By asking for that grace and asking the Lord to teach us to trust Him above all else.! By saying to the Lord: "Lord, I place my trust in you." We also learn to trust the Lord by learning to and practicing trust of ourselves and of others! Grace builds on nature. If I am unable to trust people whom I see, how will I trust God whom I do not see? Start with self! When you promise to do something for yourself, for another, do you follow through? Can your spouse, your children trust you and you them?
Trust takes work! And it is important to not put yourself down when you fail yourself! Acknowledge the broken trust issue, forgive yourself or the other person and ask God for the strength to do better tomorrow! Build the virtue of trust one day at a time and do not be afraid when you have to rebuild that strength, as being human makes us vulnerable to failing others or self or to be a subject of another person not following through on a promise or expectation. Failing is an invitation to continue trying (just remember how often you failed when learning to ride a bike as a child). Riding the "bike of trust" is more challenging! God is at our side to raise us up and help us begin again, just as an adult helped us as a child get back on that bike and try again!