Thursday, June 25, 2009

"Everyone who listens"

Today’s gospel contains three words that serve as a beginning to my thinking today: “Everybody who listens ...” How many are the experiences of listening that I am about to encounter? Working at my computer, I have already had to listen for some signals; also I hear the air conditioner. Just before starting some reflecting on the gospel, I heard voices on a radio telling me how to dress for today’s weather. In just a short time my phone will undoubtedly ring. About to set out for a daily walk for my health, I will hear horns, cars driving by, some people talking as they walk to work. And on and on ... we are surrounded by moments that make us listeners. By the end of this day I will have listened to a large number of people ... I will be driving to Philadelphia to celebrate the 80th birthday of a friend, Dr. Rocco Martino.

So, I think it safe to say that we are all of us who have good ears are listeners. We listen to so many different kinds of noises and words. The moment that does make me stop is this: as the gospel says, Jesus “spoke with authority.” His teachings, his words we may not hear directly but we know that he speaks to us each day. Because he speaks to our hearts, there is the chance that we might not listen, we might not be able to hear, we might not recognize his “voice.”

The challenge in our speedy society, in our sound inundated world, is that we can so easily not hear the one voice that speaks with authority to our lives. It is in prayer and reading, in reflection and quiet, that we have the opportunity to turn off the world of noise and voice to listen in peace and quiet the voice of Jesus Christ ... who speaks to our hearts to help us, to teach us, to guide us but most especially to teach us of God’s love for us.