Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
 Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua
Eternal Rest Grant Unto Him, Lord.
The former Archbishop of Philadelphia
died January 31, 2012

Today's gospel may have been written many years ago, however, the selection for today's reading at the daily liturgy is as potent in our times as when Jesus was actually speaking to the people in his hometown synagogue.

The message in the gospel is clear:  people have an innate disability to miss the voice of God when it is spoken on familiar lips from a familiar mind.
In our world today Jesus does speak to each of us every day.  The challenge for us is to recognize the moment and circumstances  in which this gift actually takes place.  Jesus speaks to us through people who would not recognize as speaking the will of God for us or from  whom we wish to learn nothing!  Just imagine for a moment your list of "favorites," those who have the ability to press any or all of your hot buttons being the instrument God has chosen to bring his message to you.

Familiarity does create difficulties for the true believer hearing the word of God.  Unfortunately we think that only those with whom we might have a special relationship and appreciation could possibly be God's messenger to us.  And, as we know, more often than not, this may not be the instrument God uses to bring his wisdom to us.

Jesus' preaching and healing was a genuine roadblock for his Jewish friends and neighbors.  This man just did not speak or preach as they expected or wanted him to speak.  In my profession as a priest there have been many different superiors who have been chosen to be "God's voice" for me.  Naturally there were those times when I found myself wondering how a particular superior could be God's voice for me ... just, I am sure, as he might have wondered how I might be God's voice speaking back to him!!!

This gospel story before us today surely opens up a challenge to see if I am deaf to God's voice as he speaks to me.  Are you open to thinking this might be a challenge for you as well?  It could be an eye-opener as well as a heart-opener!  Don't be afraid.