1 Samuel 3: 3b-10: “Here I am.”
1 Samuel 3: 3b-10: “Here I am.”
When we hear the readings at Mass, sometimes we pay close attention. Other times we do not as our mind begins to wander or our kids distract us. And then we say to ourselves, “What was that reading about? What did I just hear?”
It is the skill of a priest to be able to not only explain the readings in more detail but to give us insights and ways we can live the messages of the Bible more fully in our lives.
1 Samuel 3: 3b-10 commentary
This happened to me just this weekend. The second Mass reading was from 1 Samuel chapter three. It is verses 3b-10 that I will be referring to:
Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was.
The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.”
Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.”
“I did not call you, ” Eli said. “Go back to sleep.”
So he went back to sleep.
Again the Lord called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli.
“Here I am, ” he said. “You called me.”
But he answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.”
At that time Samuel was not familiar with the Lord,
because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet.
The Lord called Samuel again, for the third time.
Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.”
Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the youth. So he said to Samuel, “Go 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.”
The perfect prayer.
Fr. Neil at Mass this weekend was talking about how “Here I am” is the perfect prayer. Why is this the perfect prayer?
When we say “Here I am” to God, we are telling God and ourselves some very important things. When we say, “Here I am”:
- We are telling God that we are here in His presence.
- We are letting God know that we are at His disposal: that what He wants us to do we are willing to do.
- We are giving of ourselves to God and being open to His will for us.
- We are allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and allow God to take the lead in our lives.
These four points are not as easy to do, yet are so powerful! By saying to God, “Here I am,” we are saying all of this as well.
Here I am: We are in God’s presence.
Have you seen little kids when they meet their friends? They often say, “Here I am!” when they arrive. It is so simple and so heartwarming. It is like they knew their friends were just waiting for them. Now they can have fun!
God is waiting for us. He is in the tabernacle in His Body, in Heaven, and in our hearts. He is present at all times. He is ready for us to say, “Here I am!” to Him.
When we say “Here I am” to God, we are letting Him know were are in His presence. We are joining Him and ready to spend time with Him.
Here I am: We are at God’s disposal: what He wants us to do we are willing to do.
Going back to the scene of kids getting together, after the friends gather they decide what they want to do. Of course, there can be disagreements! One may want to dig in the sand. Another wants to climb on the park equipment, and another wants to go on the swings.
Together they need to decide what to do, but they must be flexible and be open to other ideas rather than stick stubbornly to their own…or else we know what will happen: the one will get left behind who does not want to compromise.
When we say “Here I am” to God, we are putting ourselves at his disposal. We are not with Him only to tell Him how we want things to go. Certainly, we can share that with Him, but then we need to be flexible to follow His will instead of stubbornly insist on our own. This can take years of practice!
Even if we still struggle with letting go and letting God lead us in our lives, showing up and making the effort are the first two steps we can take. We can trust in God to help us to be better at following His lead in our lives. He will help us.
Here I am: We are giving of ourselves to God and being open to His will for us.
If we did not want (at least ultimately!) to follow God in our lives, we would not say to Him, “Here I am.” By telling God this, we are letting Him know we are here and open to His will in our lives.
We know that God’s plan for us is better and will be more fulfilling than any plan we have for ourselves. He knows us intimately because He created us. He knows what will fulfill us in life and what will challenge us. He is here with us through it all and can best work with us when we are open to His will for our lives.
Here I am: We are allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and allow God to take the lead in our lives.
When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with God we show Him and ourselves how much we love Him. We are willing to be present with Him and allow Him into our lives to guide and lead us.
This also shows God that we trust in Him. We want Him to lead us even when we may be scared, unsure, or even flat-out not want to do what He asks us. We are willing to follow Him anyway and that shows God and ourselves how much we trust in Him.
Saying “Here I am” to God is the perfect prayer.
1 Samuel 3: 3b-10 teaches us that saying “Here I am” to God is the perfect prayer. When we pray these words we let God (and ourselves) know we are present to Him and willing to follow Him.
May we have faith in God to help us pray this prayer often and with great trust in Him.