The WORD in Other Words by Fr Narciso Cellan SVD (Philippines)
Thursday Week 2 Easter
Two young boys were spending the night at their grandparents‘ place. At bedtime, the two were saying their prayers. The youngest in a loud voice repeatedly said, “I pray for a new bicycle!!!” His older brother leaned over and nudged him, saying: “Why are you shouting your prayers? God isn‘t deaf.” To which the little brother replied: “True, but Grandma is!”
Indeed, God is not deaf, but it is highly doubtful if we could say the same thing about us. Communication scholars explain that listening is vital for one to properly understand the message. Yet, despite its importance, listening does not come in handy for many of us. In fact, we could be more adept at talking than listening.
Moreover, we hear mostly what we want to hear, and listen to what we want to understand. This is tragic because speaking often requires seeing and hearing. To give testimony to something, we need to listen to it and understand it the way it has to be understood.
Today‘s gospel talks about the One who comes from above and testifies to what He has seen and heard. Alas, no one accepts His testimony?! Still, He speaks the words of God. He proclaims the message, the message of the Father‘s love for Him, because He listens to the Father and understands Him.
If speaking is the consequence of listening, then we need to pay attention to the kind of people and issues we listen to. We cannot expect ourselves to think smart and talk sensible if we listen merely to trash words and shallow utterances. Similarly, to speak of God and testify to Him, we need to listen to Him, and listen hard.