Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gospel Thought Today: Hear With Your Heart

In nursing school, I could sit in lectures all day learning how to do a physical exam, insert a foley catheter, and start an IV. I could watch videos and demonstrations on correct procedure until I was blue in the face.  But the moment I walked into a patient's room and had to perform, everything heard with my ears seemed to have evaporated from my mind. Then a mentor would step in and assist until I achieved the task at hand.  It took a lot of practice, and eventually, I evolved into a skilled nurse. It became a part of me . . . who I am. In my heart, I will always be a caregiver.

Think about being a Christian. We can read everything we get our hands on from the Bible to the Volumes to the Catechism on a daily basis. We can attend renewals and Mass on Sunday.  We can hear with our ears and see with our eyes,  but struggle sometimes to hear with our heart. Maybe the crabby waitress upset with a small tip was counting on making enough money to pay the bills, or buy diapers for her child. Maybe the rude cashier at the supermarket is going through a painful divorce. Practice what you read in the Volumes. Soon, you will begin to hear with your heart.

In today's Gospel (Matthew 11:11-15), Jesus asks us to sharpen our listening skills:

Jesus said to the crowds: "Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come. Whoever has ears ought to hear."

In Volume Ten, Jesus requests we answer His Call.  He will concern Himself with the strength we need to do it:

"Dear souls of the Kingdom, you are called to service. You know this. You have heard My call and rested in My anguish. I want to talk to you about your duty. Perhaps you hear My call and feel resistance at what it is I am asking from you. Let me promise you that you will
be given exactly what you need to embrace your portion of this mission. Do not be afraid to stand beside Me as I move into the world through each one of you. Souls will see you with their physical eyes, but they will experience Me. Your fears, your hesitance, have no bearing on how you will perform for Me. Do not worry about your ability when it comes to completing your duty. Do not worry about your lack of strength. It will come from Me. It will flow deeply and completely from Me. Your willingness to serve is all that is required."

Lay apostles, in this Advent season, begin to contemplate your reactions to unhappy or rude people. Try to turn the situation around with a kind word. Was the salesperson at Macy's short with you? Tell her she has beautiful eyes at checkout. Find something positive to say.  You never know when one kind word will change a life.

Thank you, Lord, for teaching me how to hear with my heart. It is so important I take the focus away from myself and look upon others with my heart first. You are the Mentor of mentors!

God bless,

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