Fr Stefan reflects on Samuel and Pope Francis

We read at mass this morning, “So Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go to to sleep, and if you are called, reply, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’ When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the Lord came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, ‘Samuel, Samuel!’ Samuel answered, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.'”(Samuel 3: 19-20)

God speaks to us in many different ways. Do we hear his voice?

The future Pope Francis recalls one day, while a student of chemistry at an industrial college…”It was September 21 – I always remember this – I went out for a walk with some friends and I passed the Iglesia de Flores. I went inside the church, I entered, I felt that I had to enter, there are things that you feel inside and you don’t really know what they are. I looked and it was dark, a September morning, and I saw a priest coming. I didn’t know him, he wasn’t from that church, and then he sat down in the last confessional, on the left, facing the alter, and then I don’t know what happened to me.”

Bergoglio continued: “I felt like somebody grabbed me from inside and took me to the confessional. I’m not sure what happened there, clearly I must have confessed, but I don’t know what happened, and when I finished confessing, I asked the priest where he was from, because I didn’t know him,” the future Pope recalled. “He said ‘I’m from Corrientes (an Argentine city near the border with Paraguay), and I am living near here, in the rectory, and I am going to lead mass here occasionally.’”

Bergoglio recalled that the priest was suffering from leukemia, and died the following year. “While I was there I felt that I had to become a priest, and I didn’t doubt it,” 

I remember talking to the vocation director about a young man who was in the seminary. He was studying Law. He had never though of becoming a priest. He happened to be at mass when the priest was talking about  discerning a call to the priesthood. The priest said, “God might be calling you to be a priest.” He said he just felt his heart being seized by God. At that moment he knew he was going to be a priest. 

Jesus is calling you. Do you hear his voice? Do you allow yourself to be seized by God?

Speak Lord for your servant is listening.


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