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Scripture reflection: Here I am Lord!

 |  09 January 2018

Lectionary readings

First Reading - 1 Samuel 3: 3–10, 19

Responsorial Psalm 39 (40)

Second Reading - 1 Corinthians 6: 13–15, 17–20

Gospel - John 1: 35–42

Link to readings.

Introduction

Christ calls us to follow him. The readings for this Sunday invite us to listen for Christ calling us.

Samuel, in the First Reading, responds willingly to the call of God, at first thinking it is his master Eli. Eli leads him to the truth, and teaches him to listen with an open heart. Samuel grows strong in the love of God and his holy word.

This is what God asks of us: an open heart to wait for the Lord;

an open ear to listen; an open spirit to respond to the Lord’s will. (Psalm).

St Paul, writing to the Corinthians (Second Reading), reminds us that we are one in mind, body, and spirit with Christ. The Holy Spirit dwells within the heart of the believer. This knowledge will guide our actions and prompt us to desire only that which will deepen our love of God.

In the Gospel, John the Baptist recognises who Jesus truly is. John’s witness to his disciples leads them to follow Jesus. Jesus asks them what they desire. Their answer may seem unusual to us, but Jesus invites them to ‘come and see’, and experience for themselves his love in action. These first followers cannot keep the Good News to themselves, but invite others to come and see, and to listen.

Let us ask for the grace to hear God calling us, and to be ready to respond to that call with an open and willing heart. Whom can we invite to come and see?

First reading

1 Samuel 3: 3–10, 19

As I come to my place of prayer, I ask for the grace to listen.

I may want to begin my prayer with the response of today’s Psalm:

Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.

In order to be fully present to God, I let my mind settle on the rhythm of my breath, letting go of thoughts and distractions as best I can.

When I am ready, I read the text slowly, allowing images from the scene to come alive in my imagination.

What do I notice about the relationships between Eli, Samuel and the Lord? Why is Samuel so willing to respond to the call he hears?

I share my thoughts with the Lord.

I slowly read the text again. This time I place myself in the scene, and imagine it is me attending Eli in the temple. I hear my own name being called and go to Eli, and I listen to what he says.

I hear God calling my name. I say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’

I wait on the Lord and I listen.

Samuel cherished the word of God. What words of God do I hold dear to my heart? I tell God why they are special to me and I thank God for them.

I slowly draw my prayer to a close, making a prayerful sign of the cross.

Gospel

John 1: 35–42

Setting time aside, I go to my place of prayer and gently bring myself into the presence of God. Looking back on the last few days, I ponder where I noticed God alongside me. When did God seem distant?

I place my thoughts and feelings before God, knowing that he loves and accepts me as I am.

I take my time as I read the Gospel text. I let my imagination create the scene before me. Perhaps I see the events unfold as a bystander, or maybe I place myself in the heart of the story ... taking on the role of one of the disciples, speaking their words.

I see Jesus turning around and looking deeply into my being ... and I hear his words as if they were spoken to me: ‘[my name], what do you want?’ I pause before responding ... What do I desire from God ...?

What does God desire for me?

How do I respond?

I see and hear Jesus say to me: ‘[my name], come and see.’

Where does Jesus lead me? What does Jesus want me to see?

Andrew went off to share the good news with his brother – whom can I bring to Jesus? How will I do this?

I talk to Jesus as I would to a close friend about this time of prayer.

When I am ready, I finish my prayer by saying Our Father ...

 

Prepared by St Beuno’s Outreach in the Diocese of Wrexham

 

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