lunes, 14 de julio de 2014

With the ears of our Heart

picture taken from Br. Dennis Merculio

Five twenty-something men were sent by their concerned families to a guru for a different kind of summer adventure. One was a computer expert could only work so excellently while eating. The second one was a math wiz and accountant who cannot function efficiently without music. Another guy was almost totally deaf but his handicap had made him so visually observant and attentive to the environment round him so that he could already lip-read and put into drawings his day-to-day life. A lazy, prattling chap with alcohol-induced silence and intense focus so unlikely turned out to be the fourth guy. The last fellow was a blind former gardener with the most sensitive ears that worked like sonars and who loved to braille-write his daily activities in a personal journal.

And the guru? Well, he was the type who hardly spoke from Day One and whose only words of instruction were, “Follow me.” The place, of course, was a rural plateau with individual little huts for each of the apprentices in the middle of a vast coffee plantation surrounded by the best of natural wonders. However, there was almost perfect silence, with little food ration and a total ban on alcoholic beverages, music and all electronic gadgets. Based on the given, who among the five do you think would likely survive those two summer months? Your guess is as good as mine.

The one trait that could make any of those five young men survive is not merely attentive observance and listening, but a focused hearing through “the ears of the heart,” to borrow the words we often use for our Lectio Divina. This is also the very same thing our Gospel today inspires us to do — to listen intently to the Word of God with “the ears of our heart,” for such is the good soil upon which the seeds of God’s Word had fallen and yielded a hundredfold of grain.

In today’s world where electronic gadgets, consumer goods and material security rule the day, many find it difficult to focus on the basic and simple essentials of life that are often drowned out by noise and visual pollutions. How much more indifferent can it be for the rest of the current Facebook or Instagram users? Listening with the heart has indeed become a rarity.

We should feel lucky that it was Jesus himself who explained to his disciples then (and to us now) the hidden meaning/s behind the Parable of the Sower in today’s Gospel reading. In fact, Matthew had made it all so self-explanatory; all we need to do is allow its message to sink in. More so, its message has never run out of relevance through time. From the moment God spoke the Shema to Israel through the prophets in the Old Testament and until today, God still thirsts for open and willing hearts ready to listen his Word.

Visualizing how God himself might pose these questions to us in our hearts, let us ponder on these guide questions for introspection: How far and how long am I willing to carefully listen to His Word that speaks of His Will for me? Do I still try to find time, if not to make time, to commune in silence with God and to allow Him to speak to me in the stillness of my heart? When have I been a “heart open and willing to listen” to God and His Word through or with my neighbor?

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