“This is my beloved Son; listen to Him.” How does one listen to Jesus? It seems like such a conundrum, particularly since Jesus rarely speaks to us in a way that we would hear Him directly … like you and I having a conversation.
First and foremost, God speaks to us in Scripture. It is a highly individualize message. Ten people can read the exact same passage of scripture in the Bible and each person will come away with a little different meaning for that verse. God will reveal that passage differently to each person, depending on each one’s background, her age, his life experiences, her circumstances, his environment, her present situation, and many other factors. We all have different needs, we all find ourselves passing through different trials and tribulations, we all have different fears, and we are all on different missions and goals from God. That is the incredible power that lies behind the Scriptures. And just as incredible is the fact that as each of these people grow spiritually, they will interpret that same passage a little differently each time they go back and reread that verse.
Jesus speaks to us via the spoken needs and pleas of our brothers and sisters. Can you give me a hand? Can you drive me to the doctor’s office? Would you reach that can for me? Will you pray for me?
Another example might be if you are at work and you see something that you would like to have at home, and you suddenly begin to think that your employer will never miss it, and that it really isn’t that expensive. Well, that’s God speaking to your entire being through your conscience. He’s pleading with your heart not to steal that item.
Many times God will do certain things in our life which will absolutely astound and amaze us. How many times have you said something so profound that you stopped and thought, “Now where did that come from?” Those events are just another way that God uses to communicate with us.
Where there is love, there is God. Friend to friend, wife to husband, parent to child – so much of our daily conversation is trite and ultimately meaningless. But whenever our words give the beloved a new purpose, a new energy, a new life, then you know that God has spoken.
Jesus and his Father speak to us constantly and continuously. Our spiritual life doesn’t really begin until we decide to listen to Someone other than the cacophony that surrounds us each day.
Love deeply, pray faithfully, laugh often!
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.