Ave Regina Caelorum
“Queen of the heavens we greet you.
Queen of the angels now we entreat you.
You are the flower and the portal,
From which came the light immortal.
Matchless maiden God did raise you,
For the universe to praise you.
Hear us, hear us, our Mother:
Show your children Jesus, our brother. Amen.”
“Come and see” is the invitation that Jesus gave to those fishermen and he gives to us today. Our parish will soon start a program from the Archdiocese of Baltimore called “Christ Life.” There are 3 modules: encountering Christ, following Christ, and evangelizing Christ. We want to follow in the footsteps of those first disciples.
We hear how Saul became the first King of Israel. He stood a foot taller than anyone else; he was handsome; he, at first, was victorious; he seemed blessed by God in every way. Yet, he would wind up being a failure. He seemed destined for greatness. But, he failed in being obedient to God’s commands.
Samuel was the last of the Judges. He was also a prophet and a priest. He stood in the place of what would become the kingship. The people demanded a king. So, Samuel was in a period of transition. It didn’t please him, but he made the transition. As it turned out, most of the kings were a sorry lot. Sometimes, you have to be careful what you ask for because you might just get it.
The Israelites thought that since they had the Ark that they couldn’t be beaten. But, they were. They lost the Ark, as well. It wasn’t that God didn’t care. To take a side would be to take away free will. Sometimes, you win and sometimes you lose. But, God is with us through it all. It took the Israelites many years to recognize this. It is the same with us.
Today, we hear of the “call” of Samuel. Since cell phones hadn’t been invented, God “called” Samuel during the night. Eli, Samuel’s tutor in the affairs of God, instructed him to answer the call by listening to the voice of God. Samuel’s response should be ours: “speak, for your servant is listening.”
The power of prayer is shown in the First Reading for today as Hannah prays for a son (she is barren). God gives her a son who is called “Samuel,” which means “the name of God.” Samuel will be the last great judge/prophet before the establishment of the Kingdom of Israel. We’ll follow Samuel’s story in the coming days.