Many of us have been in those conversations that seem to go one way. The person is constantly speaking but hears nothing that you say. Either they tune you out or uninterested in your words. How frustrated do we feel? One way conversations often lead to discord. There is a lack of communication, often causing more problems. It is one-sided, where there is no compromise, and the one who feels unheard may feel resentment that their own needs are not being met, their opinions not being valued.
I am also reminded of a friend who I had known for years. By their own nature, they were very private. They were the kind of friend that would only listen but never revealed their own thoughts. It was only after 15 years of friendship that I finally found out what they had been going through. Someone you thought you knew so well, suddenly you had a different perspective and understanding of who they were as a person. This was not a negative thing, but what it made me see was how much I did all the talking and how long it took for me to stop and hear their stories. Granted he never initiated the conversation until then, but I also never took the time to ask.
How often does this happen in our relationship with God? We are so engrossed in our day-to-day tasks, the only time we stop and "speak" to God is when we really need Him. But how much do we really take the time to get to know Him and listen to Him? How often do we push what we think would be good for us, and get angry when things don't go our way, only realizing later that it was probably for the better?
In the first reading, it is the older Eli who heard God's call, although it was Samuel He was calling. Why is that? Samuel was not familiar with the Lord, because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet. When we do not take the time to know God, how will we know when He is calling us and what He is calling us to do? When Samuel finally realized it was he who was being called, his response was "Speak for your servant is listening." Listen to for His voice in all that we do.
The Gospel has John crying out "Behold, the Lamb of God" and that was when Andrew and Simon Peter followed him. Why? They heard that Jesus was there and when He asked them "What are you looking for?" they asked to follow Him. What are we looking for?
During this time of the pandemic, as I see with my own eyes the worsening conditions, loved ones suffering and dying from this disease; during this political climate, as we see the way others act, my anxiety is rising. Now more than ever, we need God, and we need to seek Him. But unless we stop and listen for His call, listen for His voice, listen for His coming into our lives, we will not find Him.
Still, even if He is there in front of us, how can we see Him? We can find Him within us. We are a temple of the Holy Spirit. But unless we see our own value, treat ourselves as that worthy servant, we will not see Him.
Take time in the day to pray. Listen for His voice because He is calling us to be the good people, to spread His word and love in this world that needs it more than ever.