Can I have my zebra? Ummmm, ooops!

“Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Moriah was two and was on a cross-country flight home. She wanted her zebra, her favorite stuffed animal and comfort. Mom and dad packed it away. It was in the cargo hold of the plane, unreachable. Moriah cried and complained. Dad explained and explained. No use, the crying got worse. Everyone was looking. Then dad listened. He couldn’t get zebra, but could offer her the next best thing — a father’s comfort. “You wish you had zebra now,” he said to her. “Yeah,” she said sadly.

Moraish’s dad was able, in the midst of all the turmoil, with all the passengers looking at his crying child, to do something very important. He stopped, took a breath, and listened to his child. Listening, he understood what she needed.

Like Samuel, like Moriah’s dad, we need to stop, take a breath, and listen to God who speaks to us daily.

For our part, we need to — as is commonly said to young people — put on our listening ears. God has been speaking to us for eons. Centuries of His word are with us. When we are fearful or confronted by difficult decisions we need to know that we are not alone. God knows us and is with us. He is not an absent, far away father. He is our Father, and He is present to us. He knows the deepest desires we carry within us, as individuals and as a parish community. All we need to do is listen.

His words give us the keys to successful Christianity: Live as a community. Love one another. Don’t be the boss; rather serve all. Welcome the stranger. Speak His word. Offer Jesus to all who seek Him.

We cannot do any of this alone. That is what the Holy Polish National Catholic Church is about. It is ultimately about building a community in each place to listen to Jesus and follow Him.