Daily Reflection for Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-10, 19-20
Responsorial: Psalms 40:2 and 5, 7-8a, 8b-9, 10
Gospel: Mark 1:29-39
Our reflection on Wednesday’s readings:
Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth.
So Eli said to Samuel, Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply,
“Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:9
As I sit down to write this reflection, one of my children is calling me from the other room to look at the design she created for her upcoming wedding “save the date” announcements. Earlier as I tried to get started, another one asked me to give her a hug. And then another was cooking dinner and needed a bit of supervision. Some of the major blessings of parenting are all the blessed distractions and “cries” for help, but those blessings also take away personal time, including time intended for prayer and reflection.
Sadly, many of these distractions get in the way when listening to what God wants of me. It’s easy – and a sign of good parenting! – to answer children’s repeated calls (knowing too as the years go by that those calls will get fewer and fewer in between as they get older). It’s also easy most of the time to know who the calls are coming from and how to interpret the calls - whiny or desperate or in pain. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to discern if I’m really needed or if they are simply expressing their feelings.
In Fr. James Martin’s book Learning to Pray, Chapter 11 talks about discerning God’s voice. He asks the reader, how do you know it’s God and not a mere distraction? There are many ways to discern this, but Fr. Jim breaks it down into a few questions to ask yourself when unsure:
1. Is an evil spirit involved?
2. Does it make sense?
3. Does it lead to an increase in love?
4. Does it fit with what I know about God?
5. Is it a distraction?
6. Is it wish fulfillment?
7. Is it important?
The chapter also discusses the need for help in discerning God’s voice, perhaps through a close friend or spiritual director. Samuel had that help through Eli, who was able to interpret the voice and direct Samuel to respond to it.
Some thoughts to consider: Who is your “spiritual director”? How can you better listen to God’s call in the new year?
“encourage one another, and build each other up”