During Ordinary Time the lectionary is structured as a “continuous reading” — we start reading from a particular book of the Bible and go though it chapter by chapter. This year begins with the first reading taken from the First Book of Samuel and the Gospel from St. Mark. It is thus a coincidence that a similar theme arises from the readings assigned for this day. We read in the gospel that Jesus “went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.” In the Old Testament lesson, young Samuel had to learn how to pray. He was taught to say, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” In our busy lives, we too must learn to slow down and take the time to listen in prayer.