Well, another new day, with all of its possibilities for hearing the voice of God speaking to us.
I mention the voice of God above because that’s the major theme for this Sunday’s readings. It’s good Shepherd Sunday, and also world day of prayer for vocations. In the Gospel, Jesus plainly states: “My sheep hear my voice.”
Well, do we really? Hearing God’s voice is something we all long for, particularly as it concerns the future. It’s almost as though we expect God to be some kind of medium or fortune teller. But the funny thing is, God has already spoken to us about our future. It’s in Sunday’s Gospel, and is repeated countless times elsewhere in Scripture: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.”
So our future is assured. Always and everywhere, every moment of every day, no matter what we are doing or not doing, awake or sleeping, we are held safely and gently in God’s hands.
But does that help? Does that make us happy? Well, yes and no. I kinda want to hear the voice of God now, in my daily activity. If that’s so, then we have to be ready to listen. We have to train ourselves to listen.
God’s voice speaks to us every time we have an inclination to do something good for another. God speaks to us when we realize that beating ourselves down and calling ourselves a loser is the voice of Satan, not the voice of God. When we desire to pray, we’ve heard the voice of God. Ditto for when a line of scripture speaks to us, or some words in a homily. When our hearts expand in the presence of beauty or a lovely day, God has spoken. When you suddenly think of someone, that’s God’s voice telling you to say a prayer for that person, or to write or call them.
In short, anytime there is a word, thought or deed that gives life, joy, peace and happiness to yourself to another, then you’ve heard and responded to God’s voice. And when that happens, always make sure you say “Thank you, Lord.” The more you do this, the better you’ll hear God’s voice in the days and weeks ahead.
With love and prayer …
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.