Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18
Philippians 3:17-4:1 or 3:20-4:1
At the baptism of Jesus, God speaks from a cloud to Jesus, telling him "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." But today, at the Transfiguration, God is speaking to us. "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!"
Listening is a vital part of communication. Throughout our world- in schools, businesses, and in the medical field new emphasis is being placed on the value of good listening. It is probably the most common counsel given to interns and new managers. If we listen well, we hear more than words. In fact by listening well, we often learn to really know the speaker.
No less is true of listening to Jesus. If we listen to Jesus, we learn that He is our loving Savior who gave himself up to God’s will.
A few days ago, Fr. Phil Paxton reflected on these pages with these words about prayer, "But if we listen to Jesus, we realize, once again, that we can trust in God’s love for us, and prayer is not only a way for us to communicate our needs to God, but it is to open us up to hearing God’s will for us."
Where do we hear Jesus? Most of us would say that we hear Jesus in the gospels, and in reflections offered by the homilist at Eucharist.
But where else do we hear Jesus? Do we hear Jesus in the cry of the poor? Do we listen to the voices of our family and hear Christ? Do we hear the world news and hear Jesus? Do we, as Fr. Phil is suggesting, hear Jesus in our praying?
Another way of listening for the voice of Christ is to be present to God in silence. Jesus models this himself in the times he goes out to the desert. It is good to find a space for yourself that is quiet, away from distractions, where you can go regularly and ask Jesus to be with you in the silence.
A truly wonderful opportunity to hear Jesus is on retreat. Removed from the busy cares and concerns of our daily lives, we can quiet our souls and experience a deep silence. Then truly will we be able to heed the words of God and recognizing that Jesus is his Son, his chosen one, we will follow God’s decree and listen to him!
Mary Lou Butler ([email protected])is a former staff member and is now a member of the Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center Board, Sierra Madre, California.