Updated: Mar 10, 2020
Recently I saw an ad in a paper that read: “Is God calling you?” It sounded like the beginning of an information piece on vocations to priesthood or religious life. The next line was, “Can you hear him?” I thought that was pretty good and was curious. It turned out to be an ad for having one’s physical hearing evaluated.
Today’s (18th Sunday in Ordinary Time - August 4, 2019) psalm refrain addresses our spiritual hearing: If today you hear his voice, harden not you heart.
As I reflected on the readings, they all seem to infer our preparation for the kingdom of heaven. The reading from Ecclesiastes relates how useless, in a spiritual way of thinking, are our worries. The author refers to it as vanity. He calls all of our toil vanity. I don’t think it means that we should do nothing, but that we should do what we need to do to live life as we are called. That is a lot of work, but maybe God wants us to be more peaceful about what we do. Even Jesus tells us over and over, Do not worry. Do we hear God calling us to receive peace so that we might radiate peace?
In Paul’s Letter to the Colossians we are told to think of what is above, not of what is on earth. We are told that we have put on the new self (Baptism) and are being renewed in the image of our creator. Beautiful – do we hear God calling us to be open to this renewal of our entire being?
In the Gospel Jesus tells us to take care to guard against all greed because life does not consist of possessions. He tells us rather to be rich in what matters to God. Are we desirous to hear about what matters to God in our lives? God does not tell us to be lazy but that in all we do, to have a heart for what matters to God.
The Psalmist prompts us to pray, Prosper the work of our hands for us! But the same psalmist also prays: Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.
We ask that God, the divine audiologist, would quicken our hearts, our minds, our wills and soften our hearts that we might hear God’s voice.
Interesting: the word hear is in the word heart. Let us listen with our hearts.