The WORD in Other Words by Fr Joey Ruega SVD (Philippines) for Tuesday in the 4th Week of Easter
When you enter any coffee shop you will see young people busy chatting, listening to music, browsing the internet, reviewing for exams, and working. The place seems very chaotic and noisy but it’s always filled with people. How can you truly concentrate on what you are doing in such kind of place?
In today’s gospel Jesus emphasizes the importance of “hearing/listening” as an integral element of being part of his fold – “My sheep hear my voice.” Hearing or listening to the voice of the shepherd is highlighted in the gospel as the first step towards discipleship.
Knowing and following Jesus is only possible if we truly listen to him and hear His voice. True hearing/listening involves not only the ears but also the mind and the heart. Hearing through the ears means listening carefully and clearly to the words of God. The Word of God is alive. It is capable of touching and penetrating our lives if we listen to it attentively. Listening through the mind means “understanding” the word of God.
What is the message of God’s word in my life now? We have to reflect and meditate on the word and we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead us towards true understanding. Listening through the heart means making the word of God part and parcel of our life. We have to own and act on it. The word of God that we hear and understand must be put into practice.
In this way the word of God is truly alive and capable of transforming our lives, Church, and society. If we are capable of listening to the word with our heart, we are truly the Disciples of Christ, His sheep who hears Him, knows Him, and follow Him.
Source – The WORD in Other Words, Bible Diary 2020