January 27, 2016
(St. Angela Merici)
To King David’s desire to build a house for God, the LORD said through the Prophet Nathan, “The LORD also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you. And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his Kingdom firm. It is he who shall build a house for my name. And I will make his royal throne firm forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.” 2_Sm_7:4-17
Jesus concluded his “Parable of the Sower” with these words, “those (seed) sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” Mk_4:1-20
Jesus is speaking to us today about the difference between hearing, listening and understanding what God is trying to say to us. And God can speak to us in many different ways.
Back in the early Bible days, God spoke directly to people like Noah, and Abraham, and Moses. Sometimes His Voice was even accompanied with signs, like a smoking brazier (Gn 15), or a burning bush (Ex 3). But in the time after Moses, God only spoke with His children through the Prophets.
Thus, we hear God speaking to King David today, through the Prophet Nathan. You see, the prophets understood what pleased God and what upset Him. And they often warned the people when they were beginning to veer away from God’s path. And sometimes the people would listen, and sometimes they would rebel, both against the prophets and against God.
And yet, David truly had a heart for God.
As a matter of fact, David had such a strong love for God that he wanted to build a home for God right next door to his.
You see, David heard and listened, but he didn’t quite understand yet. He didn’t understand that God is not limited by location the way we are. He can be with us – right here in Columbia, MO and at the same time be with His children in Tokyo, or New York, or Rome, or even in the most remote settlement of Antarctica – all at the same time!
God is not limited by space or time.
And yet, in order for us to be able to relate to, to understand God a little better, God made a promise or Covenant with King David. He said that through a descendant of David’s, whom we know to be Jesus, God would remain with His children, as their King forever.
It would be a true love relationship.
This reciprocal love of God for us and us for Him would be Boundlessly Eternal. And even though it was reciprocal on our part, that love was unconditional on the part of God.
The only condition for us was found in our answer to the question:
“Do we believe it?”
And if we have the Faith to believe that God’s love for us is Boundlessly Eternal, then our next question is: “How is it, that God is speaking to us today?” And then, IF God IS speaking to us today, are we healing, listening and understanding Him?
Which brings us back to Jesus’ parable of the sower.
Jesus tells us that there are four things that can happen to God’s Word, as it comes to us.
First: We may not be hearing it.
Maybe there’s too much noise filling our thoughts and we miss God’s call to us, which may come through the poor, through the lonely, or even through our own neighbors.
Second: We may be hearing it, but not listening.
If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “In one ear and out the other,” we can do the same thing with God. We may be hearing Him, but we may not want to hear, because the door to our heart is closed.
Third: We may be hearing and listening, but not understanding.
Sometimes we fight against our own consciences because of pride, greed, or doubt. When we find ourselves arguing with ourselves over things like coming to this communion service or going to Mass vs sleeping in, that’s listening but not understanding – that God is here, wanting to speak to us!
And Finally: We can be hearing, and listening, and understanding.
This happens when we have an informed conscience, just like the prophets did. We understand what pleases God and what doesn’t. And we learn this – by reading the Scriptures, by listening to Christian radio, by coming to Mass and Communion services when we can, and by just falling in love with Jesus.
You see, God is always speaking to us. The question is, “Are we hearing, and listening, and understanding?
“Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
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