REFLECTION ON THE READINGS
There is something about a voice that is so expressive…
I remember when my mother would pray over my twin brother and I each night before we went to bed. Her voice was comforting and peaceful, not just because it was my mother’s, but because I knew that what she wanted for me was good. Well, when I got older her voice had a different effect – more of a nagging effect…LOL…(don’t tell her that I said that).
Voices are significant in our communication as persons. But to know what makes the voice so effective in communication is our ability and willingness to LISTEN!!!
The story is told of Franklin Roosevelt, who often endured long receiving lines at the White House. He complained that no one really paid any attention to what was said. One day, during a reception, he decided to try an experiment. To each person who passed down the line and shook his hand, he murmured, “I murdered my grandmother this morning.” The guests responded with phrases like, “Marvelous! Keep up the good work. We are proud of you. God bless you, sir.” It wasn’t till the end of the line, while greeting the ambassador from Bolivia, that his words were actually heard. Unperturbed, the ambassador leaned over and whispered, “I’m sure she had it coming.”
Our lives are such that we are often too busy and too distracted to hear the voices of those around us, never mind the voice of God! And maybe we clearly hear the voices of other people, but do we hear the voice of God? If God spoke to you, would you know that it was Him who was speaking?
I know my mother and father’s voice because both raised me, and so I am familiar with their voices. But are we familiar with the voice of God in our life? Are you able to tell when He speaks???
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus compares himself to a shepherd, and the Church to the sheep of His flock. Jesus teaches us something about who God is, and He wants us to see the interaction between those who know God and His voice, and those who do not.
We heard, “And the sheep hear His voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” This is a very familiar scene in the ancient world. The shepherd calling to his sheep. The shepherd may call by name or by a particular vocalization and the sheep would hear and they’d follow him. They wouldn’t follow other voices.
Here’s the point: it is so easy to render God abstract. To see God as distant; a God who is off doing “god” things, not really interested in what we do or who we are. Sometimes we think of Him kind of like we think of the “force” from the famous Star Wars saga. A “force” that runs through all things, etc. But the message of the Bible is that God has a voice; God speaks to us! He speaks to you and me, we who were built by Him to listen. We’ve been built to hear his voice.
You and I, by nature, are ordered to God…we are born to hear Him. Our God communicates with us personally, directly, powerfully, creatively and with purpose.
How does God “speak”? Where can we hear His voice?
- The Scriptures, the Bible
- Through the teaching of the Church
- Through the lives of the Saints
- Through the liturgy
- and through the conscience.
Friends, today God is speaking to you and me. Through His word in the inspired Scriptures – Did we really listen to Him speak to us? Do we seek to understand or even know what it is that the Church teaches, understanding that she is supported, guided and protected by the Holy Spirit? God speaks to us in our conscience. Do we listen to that “voice” inside of us that instructs us on what is good and bad, right and wrong?
Friends, we are God’s children, and He is always speaking to us, but do we listen for His voice? I pray that you and I may recognize God’s voice in our lives! Listen for Him, for He surely is speaking to you!
Quote of the Week
Suddenly I heard the words of Christ and understood them, and life and death ceased to seem to be evil, and instead of despair I experienced happiness and the joy of life undisturbed by death.