The WORD in Other Words by Fr Jonathan Letada SVD (Philippines) for December 18
On the third day of Novena Masses before Christmas, we encounter a great biblical figure named Joseph, but his greatness is shown in his silence and humility. The gospel narrates the story of the annunciation to Joseph.
This is the starting point of Joseph‘s vocation as the husband of Mary, the foster father of Jesus and the protector of the Holy Family. In his silence and humility, he was able to listen to God‘s call for him and fulfilled it according to His divine will.
Pope Francis, during his address to families on January 16, 2015, revealed his special devotion to St. Joseph through the image of a Sleeping Joseph. According to him, Joseph‘s rest revealed God‘s will to him. In moments of rest in the Lord, as we pause from our many obligations and activities, God speaks to us. When God speaks we listen prayerfully in the quiet of our hearts. Resting is prayer. Resting is listening.
In a world of sophisticated electronic media, where we encounter so many words, sounds and images, do we still appreciate the value of listening? The world needs people who listen. We need more listeners than speakers. We need more discerners than actors and implementors. We need more people with depth and interiority.
Let our Novena Masses for Christmas be an opportunity for us to listen to the voice of God as the psalmist would proclaim: “If today you hear his voice harden not your hearts.”