Listening to God

Reading 1 – DT 18:15-20
Responsorial Psalm – PS 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9
Reading 2 – 1 COR 7:32-35
Gospel MK 1:21-28

When God speaks, He reveals Himself. Listening, an essential element in any relationship, is of utmost importance with God. Unfortunately, our busy lives, jobs, relationships, technology, media etc. at times create a barrier between God’s words and our hearts.  Today, we are warned against resistance when God speaks to us, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (PS 95:8).

Listening to God should be our most important priority. It was such revelation which helped Moses understand that a prophet greater than him, Jesus, would be coming into the world: “A prophet like me will the LORD, your God, raise up for you from among your own kindred; that is the one to whom you shall listen” (DT 18:15).

Paul understood this as well when he spoke of the dangers of anxiety and distractions: “I should like you to be free of anxieties….I am telling you this for your own benefit, not to impose a restraint upon you, but for the sake of propriety and adherence to the Lord without distraction” (1 COR 7:35).

Listening to God requires that we set aside time to know Him. How? By reading His words and then meditating, praying, and contemplating on them (Lectio Divina).

If we make an effort to listen to God, we, too, can be cured of the unclean spirits clinging to our hearts. We, too, like the demonic man in today’s Gospel, can experience Jesus’ healing power: “Quiet! Come out of him!” (MK 1:25).

The Gift of Knowledge

The Novena of the Holy Spirit continues today with the petition to receive the gift of Knowledge: to open our hearts and minds to know our Father.

It is impossible to know a person when we make no effort to interact with them. Fruitful relationships are built in knowing each other. The same is true with God. If we want to know God, we have to make an effort to get to know him.

The gift of Knowledge empowers us to use our hearts, minds, and social faculties to seek and find God. Through prayer, meditation, and contemplation, we fall in love with him. Through the study of the Scriptures, Tradition, and teachings of the Church, we open our minds to his Word. Finally, through our interaction with others, we witness and experience his love for us.

May the Holy Spirit bless us with the gift of Knowledge today and always.

Have a blessed day!!!

Spending Time with the Father

This weekend, my son and I spent time with each other because my wife and daughter went out of town. Yesterday, he said to me “Daddy, I love spending time alone with you; it is so nice and peaceful.” I embraced him and told him “me too, son.”

My heart rejoiced to hear his sweet words because he was expressing love and honoring his father; he was living in Christ.  Moreover, my son’s words put in perspective my relationship with God the Father. They reminded me of the importance of spending time alone with him.

God has a way of reaching out to us in the most unexpected ways; sometimes through our children. We only need to listen carefully for his voice.

“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Psalm 95:7b-8a)

© hectorortiz 2013. All rights reserved.

Happy Father’s Day

 

I wrote part I of this poem on Father’s Day 2011.  I was inspired to add to it this year as a continued tribute to my father, who did his best to raise me. Te Quiero Papi, Feliz Día de los Padres. Que Dios Te Bendiga.

I

I remember his hesitation to love me

Afraid that something would be lost

An unrevealed reason betrays him

He holds me; unnatural yet warm

Firm, but gentle; hesitant but surprised

It is real; father and son

Undone is the façade

II

His wisdom and love – imperfect – impart

His heart sustained

His heart beats stealth

Our hearts bound in consequence

My future I cannot escape

Undone is the façade

© hectorortiz 2013. All rights reserved.