Information. News. Stories. There’s a lot being said about how we hear what’s going on nowadays. Similarly, in our two readings today we find people wanting to know “what’s the buzz?” as Andrew Lloyd Webber put it in Jesus Christ Superstar.
In the first reading from Acts the Church in Jerusalem hears of the Gospel being preached to the Greeks (read: non-Jews) and their coming to believe. This was hard for them to understand. Many of the disciples of Jesus had yet to come to the understanding that this message was for the whole world. And so they sent Barabas to see what was going on. It’s interesting that it says Barabas, “arrived and saw the grace of God.” Seeing the grace of God requires approaching a situation with an open, non-judgmental heart. As Jesus Himself said, “Let those who have the eyes to see, see!” Often in the bustle of day-to-day life, especially when we are under stress, it’s hard to “have the eyes to see.” We don’t like to hear news that conflicts with our preconceived ideas of what is going on. Jesus encourages us to approach every situation in life with an open heart and open eyes and truly discern what God is showing us.
In the second reading we again find people looking for the truth. But they want it said to them in a particular way. They resist understanding or discerning unless they receive the news in a fashion that fits with their preconceived ideas of what it means to be the Christ. Jesus responds by telling them to look around. He asked them they need to believe the evidence of their own eyes. The works of the Father are evident all around them and yet, they want it said “plainly.”
How often do I miss God speaking to me because I want to hear it “plainly?“ Like those questioning Jesus in today’s reading, I often want God to speak to me on my own terms. However, as the scripture says, God‘s ways are not my ways, His thoughts are not my thoughts.
My prayer today is that I have the eyes to see and the ears to hear. May I be open to God‘s word and truth in the way He chooses to speak to me.
In addition to being an independent teacher (now online!), Talib Huff works and volunteers at Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center in Citrus Heights, California. You can contact him at [email protected].