March 28, 2019
by MaryLee Brock
Creighton University's Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Graduate School
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 259

Jeremiah 7:23-28
Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Luke 11:14-23

Praying Lent Home

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Lent as: Hearing the Cry of the Poor

The other day a friend called to ask if I had heard a particular bit of news.  My first reaction was that she was joking as I had shared that same news with her just the other day.  Then I was puzzled by why she had not heard what I had shared.  We had a good laugh and then moved on to other topics.

This encounter with my friend came to mind as I pray with the readings from today.  Praying and singing Psalm 95 has always been so meaningful for me: If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.  I could not imagine a time when I would harden my heart to God’ voice.  But now I realize that hearing the voice of God does not just happen in times of joy and gratitude and prayer.

Can I hear God when I am overscheduled with work and family responsibilities?  Can I hear God in the needs of a friend, colleague or neighbor?  Can I hear the voice of God when I am fearful, jealous, conceited, judgmental, tired?  The very times I need to carefully listen to God are the times my actions and lack of attention essentially harden my heart.

In the first reading from Jeremiah God names what a hardened heart looks like:  When you speak all these words to them, they will not listen to you either; when you call to them, they will not answer you. And in the Gospel from Luke, Jesus speaks to the importance of putting God first in all we do: Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

This Lent I pray for the grace to be open to hear the voice of God.  The first section of the prayer Teach Me To Listen by John Veltri, SJ is a wonderful meditation:  Teach me to listen, O God, to those nearest me, my family, my friends, my co-workers.  Help me to be aware that no matter what words I hear, the message is, “Accept the person I am. Listen to me.”

Listening to the voice of God opens my heart to what truly matters.  Do you hear me?

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