Listening Heart

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The WORD in other words (2021) by Fr. Roger Solis, SVD (USC, Cebu City)

Tuesday 6th Week in Ordinary Time

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Experience tells us that sometimes we forget important things, especially when we get overwhelmed with positive or negative emotions. For instance, keys are left at the table in a restaurant after an unexpected meeting with a long lost friend.

The apostles might have felt overwhelmed, too, after witnessing Jesus’ miracle of feeding thousands of hungry people. They had forgotten their worries about food and even missed preparing their provisions.

When Jesus reminded them about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, they immediately felt guilty about their inability to prepare the basic things they needed to do, particularly in preparing provision for their journey. Even if Jesus’ message didn’t have anything to do with their irresponsibility, they immediately felt guilty of something that they should have done.

Miscommunication often comes in different forms. Sometimes it is a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the same reality. This situation happens when we fail to listen attentively to what other people are telling us. Thus, it is always important to listen first before talking. And if unclear, ask questions for clarification. The apostles in today’s gospel failed to do so. They just assumed without even asking! 

Our present generation seems used to talking rather than listening. Most people blurt out their personal views on matters concerning public welfare without necessarily thinking about the implication of their words and actions. While it is essential to be honest about our feelings, it is also important first to listen before talking.

God speaks to us each day, every moment of our lives, but often we do not hear his words, his message, because we do not listen to him. Today’s gospel reminds us to develop that sense of listening. A listening heart that allows us to go deeper from our innermost thoughts where we can converse with God in the silence of our hearts. After all, God constantly speaks to us in silence. 

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