The story of the boy Samuel hearing God calling him that we are presented with as our First Reading today is one of the more wonderful stories we find in the Bible.
It did not take the old High Priest Eli very long to realise that the boy was being called directly by God. In adulthood following the disastrous defeat of the Israelites by the Philistines, Samuel rallied his humiliated people and won for himself recognition as a great judge and prophet.
Samuel is seen as the first of the major prophets and was to annoint as King both Saul and David.
As a prophet he travelled each year through the whole country rebuking the people and calling them to repentance. He is regarded as one of the wisest of the leaders of Israel. He is also viewed as one of those who foreshadowed Christ, giving the people an insight into what the coming Messiah would be like.
Father Alex McAllister