“Listen to Him”: Listening to and for God’s voice
Luke’s version of the transfiguration of our Lord Jesus differs from the other synoptic gospels in minor ways that reflect his particular understanding of Jesus and his mission. The setting is a special time of prayer, always a sign in Luke’s gospel that something important is about to take place. In the larger context of the Gospel, this scene occurs just after Peter’s confession of faith and between the two Jesus’ predictions of the passion. In the passage, Jesus is portrayed speaking with Moses (representing the Law) and Elijah (the prophets) about his “passage” (the Greek word is “Exodus”), by which the evangelist Luke talks about the suffering, death, and resurrection Jesus was about to undergo in Jerusalem.
The message of the voice from heaven is clearly directed to the early Christian community, affirming that Jesus is God’s Son, the chosen One, and insisting that they “listen to Him.” The voice from Heaven is still saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” God speaks daily to us do we really lend our ears and hearts to listen to His voice? Pope Francis beautifully puts it, ‘This is the first step in order to grow in our faith journey: listening.’ Lent is a time of learning to listen to God as we prepare to celebrate the feast of the paschal mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ. Probably the disciples failed to listen and understand His identity, mission, kingdom, His demands and turn their deaf ears to the radical call of Jesus. The voice from heaven reminds them to embrace the attitude of Listening. To follow Jesus means we need to listen to Him. Listening to God is becoming more and more difficult as we are in a society full of noise, overstimulated, and bombarded by information. The outer noises in our society prevent us to be open to God’s voice. Do we know how to silence our hearts and listen to the voice of God? It is imperative that We learn how to listen carefully to His voice and His word in order to learn how to view things in our life with the eyes of faith and to be open to God’s call and mission. We shall seek to listen to him in our Lenten journey.
During the Old testament God often spoke through other people. Still, He speaks through other people today. Lent is also a season for us Christians to listen for God’s voice in others as we strive every day to be better people. We need to learn to listen for God’s voice in others not only to listen for what God might be saying to us but also for what God might be teaching us about God at work in the other person. Therefore, let us tune ourselves to listen for God’s voice in others.
To follow Jesus requires obeying him, which requires hearing him, which requires listening to him. As simple as that might sound, this could be the heart of our journey in this season of Lent. Hearing is happenstance but listening intently is a choice therefore let us choose to listen to God and listen for God’s voice in others in this Lenten season.
By Vijay Deivanayagam, OMI
Vocation Team – Central