Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

LISTENING TO GOD

By Lucinda M. Vardey

The readings in the past few weeks have been about being open to the voice of God.  Responding to God’s will for each of us requires us to first know how to recognize God’s voice. How do we discern God’s voice over our own? How do we hear, and how do we trust?

Listening is a necessity in a life of prayer: silence helps melt a hardened heart and Adoration brings us into relationship.

In today’s readings St. Paul exposes the common human habits of split loyalties, of the concerns of the world, of the desire to please others. To create “good order” in one’s life requires a shift in daily priorities.   Putting God first in everything, making prayer a priority (including moments of quiet) helps attain harmony and peace.   Carving out regular time for what St. Paul calls “unhindered devotion” enables a deepening friendship with the Lord.

Sometimes when we begin to listen we hear all sorts of voices that have residence in our minds. It is only by persisting in devotion and study of scripture, can we be cleansed of all that tries to distract us and focus instead on what matters most. Only by showing that we are serious about developing a loving, consistent friendship with Jesus, can we expect to recognize his voice.