Hearing the Voice of Jesus

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One evening not long ago, I was rocking a beautiful, 11 month old baby boy.  He was looking up at me and I at him and soon his little eyes got heavy and he started to fall asleep; all was well in his world and mine, that is until he heard his father’s voice.  When that little boy heard daddy’s voice, his eyes popped open, he sat bolt upright and turned toward the door crying his heart out. I was then like the stranger in today’s gospel, and that little guy wanted nothing to do with me…

In today’s hectic world, with all the technological advances, from I-Pods to cell phones with text messaging, it is hard to listen to the voice of the Good Shepard.   How do we hear the voice of Jesus?

1)   Through the gospel messages and parables he teaches us in the bible. If we set aside time to read the scriptures a little each day with more attentiveness than to the daily newspaper, television, computer and internet.

2)   Through the sermons we hear on Sunday. Sometimes a single sentence or phrase will strike us and it is as though Jesus breaks through the preacher and speaks directly to us.

3)   Through the writings of the saints and others who are inspired by the Holy Spirit to share with us the deep relationship and encounters they have had with Jesus.

4)   Through nature, for it was Elijah (the prophet) who heard the still, small voice of God in a gentle whisper on Mount Horeb. Imagine what we could hear if we slowed down and spent time listening to the sounds of God’s creation.

5)   Through the voice of our consciences.  About two weeks ago, I was watching a program sponsored by Food For the Poor.  Among the many images of hungry children in Haiti and Latin America was the scene of two small children who lived near a garbage dump in Guatemala with their mother and a 6 month-old   baby brother.  The father had died in an accident and the mother had no source of income, no means to feed her children.  As they searched through the dump for food and plastic bottles to sell for food, they came upon a bag of tamales that had not been eaten.  Those two children had their only meal of the day on food left in the dump. The next day I happened to be grocery shopping and the image of those little ones in the garbage dump was ever before me as I went from aisle to aisle looking at all the choices of food I had.  A voice inside my heart kept repeating. “When I was hungry you gave me to eat.”  I started crossing items I really didn’t need off my list and when I reached the checkout, I had saved about $25.00.  Without a doubt, I knew where Jesus wanted that money to go

When we begin to slow down, take time to become familiar with the voice of Jesus and learn to follow him, we will be able to resist the voices of the world. All the distractions of this world only rob us of life’s real joy; Jesus alone is the gateway to the pasture of eternal peace, love and lasting joy.

Sylvia Bates