Thursday, Fifth Week of Lent

April 6, 2017

 

Gen 1: 3-9   Jn 8: 51-59

By *Mr. Thomas Djabaku, SJ

"O that today you would hear his voice ... harden not your hearts"

In today's first reading, the Lord spoke to Abraham "behold my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham". When Abraham did according to the words of the psalmist, "O that today you would hear his voice ... harden not your hearts" (Psalm 95:7d.8a) we saw what the Lord did in his life. In the gospel, Jesus Christ reminds us today about the importance of listening, for there is no better way of accomplishing the Father's will than to listen to the Son. "Amen, Amen, I say to you. Whoever keeps my word will never see death.


Listening is essential in keeping a relationship alive. Our world is broken today because of the many broken relationships at various levels that predominate our societies today. The cause for this brokenness perhaps can be attributed to the lack of listening among friends. In our spiritual life, we often experience dryness when we fail to listen. More frequently, we tend to do the all the talking anytime we strike a conversation with Christ during prayers, but always fail to listen to Christ speak to us. Just like the Pharisees, we harden our hearts anytime Christ attempts to speak to us.


Our life may seem meaningless when we become deaf to the words of Christ. In our deafness, we fail to understand whatever God tells us. The Pharisees thought Jesus was possessed when they failed to understand all that He told them. Just like Abraham, we can only be blessed when we listen to the words of Christ and to the feelings of our brothers and sisters. Remember the Father made it known to us that we should listen to Christ. "This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him" (Matthew 17:5).


As we continue our journey from sorrow to joy, let not only our ears be attentive to the words of Christ, but our hearts be soft in receiving the words; for it is in receiving the word that we keep it.


*Mr. Thomas Djabaku, SJ, is a scholastic studying Philosophy at the Arrupe College Jesuit School for Philosophy and Humanities in Harare, Zimbabwe. 

Prayer

Teach me to listen, O God, to those nearest me, my family, my friends, my co-workers.
Help me to be aware that no matter what words I hear, the message is, "Accept the person I am. Listen to me."
Teach me to listen, my caring God, to those far from me– the whisper of the hopeless, the plea of the forgotten, the cry of the anguished.
Teach me to listen, O God my Mother, to myself. Help me to be less afraid to trust the voice inside β€” in the deepest part of me.
Teach me to listen, Holy Spirit, for your voice β€” in busyness and in boredom, in certainty and doubt, in noise and in silence.
Teach me, Lord, to listen. Amen

John Veltri, S.J.

 

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