"If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts"
Our readings today seem to reflect around the theme of LISTENING.
Our journey of faith begins with a call from God and it is a call that is repeated many times during our lives and in many different ways. Part of our daily challenge it to recognize that call and to chose whether or not to respond.
I have learned from my own experience that God doesn’t tap us on the shoulder and say, "Now hear this." No, God speaks to us is many different ways…through other people, through Scripture, through creation, through different events and experiences, and the list goes on and on.
Again from my own experience, He often calls me to move out of my comfort zone into new challenges. Sometimes, I "harden my heart" by acting like our four year old grandson Tommy who often pretends he doesn’t hear his parents calling! Sometimes, I just have to ask God to give me the willingness to respond.
It is very encouraging to see how so many people around the world have responded in faith to the recent crisis in Japan. They certainly have "heard the cry of the poor" and opened their hearts in a big way to provide aid, support, and prayers.
It seems we’re better able to hear God speak to us during quiet times when we are alone with Him, when we put everything else aside and give ourselves completely to being in His Presence. Jesus certainly modeled this for us. He regularly went off to a quiet place by himself to spend time with, and to listen to His Father.
One of the greatest gift we can give to others, is to be a good listener with a compassionate heart…to hear the voice of God in "the cry of the poor" among us and to HARDEN NOT OUR HEARTS. (Don’t be a Tommy!)
Deacon Brian Clements is on the staff at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California