By Rev. Fr John Damian Adizie, OCD
God is a Living Being that communicates! The dialogue bet-ween God and young peo-ple started right from the beginning of creation. The bible is God’s dialogue with human beings. The Lord first spoke to Adam, saying: “Be fruitful and mu-ltiply, fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28).
Even when Cain, the murd-erer, thought that God could not see his atrocity, the Lord God asked him, “Where is Abel your broth-er?” (Genesis 4:9). This que-stion is addressed to our youths, especially those who are involved in the on-going killings in our world today.
In Isaiah 62:1, the Lord God insisted, “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her sal-vation as a burning torch.” Hebrews invites us to listen to God’s voice: “Oh, that today you would hear his voice…harden not your hearts.” Time has co-me when the young people must listen to God’s voice. We have no option!
I Samuel 3 narrates how God spoke to young Sam-uel: The Lord called Sam-uel three times. At the third time, with the help of Eli he responded, “Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening.”
Commenting on this passage the Holy Father, Pope Francis, de-clares, “I very much like the st-ory of Samuel when he hears God’s voice. The Bible says: “the word of the Lord was rare in those days”. It was a disoriented people. It was a young man who opened that door.”
Alt-hough it was the young Samuel that the Lord used to open the door of reve-lation, it was the Priest Eli who discerned the source of the calling. He also di-rected the boy Samuel on how to respond to the Lord’s calling.
Young people need eld-erly and God-fearing peo-ple like Eli who will guide them in their vocation. We cannot play such an imp-ortant role unless we are ready to listen to God and also to young people as they share their dreams, visions and aspirations. This requires patience, time and even space.
Young people must avail themselves for God. They must create an avenue where they could easily hear from God through the Blessed Sacrament, the bible and other spiritual books and exercises.
Keeping in mind that their body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corin-thians 3:16). With this awareness it becomes easier for the young peo-ple to hear and listen to the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.
Jesus told young fisher-men: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately, they left their nets and followed him” (Matthew 4:19-20).
He also told his follow-ers: “..I chose you and ap-pointed you to go and bear fruit that will last” (John15:16). Young people can only di-scover this noble vocat-ion only when they listen to God and respond with Samuel, saying, ‘Speak Lord for your servant is listening!’