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Father Muench Says...

If today, you hear his voice...

Feb. 7, 2018

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

I am sure you are aware that the Scripture readings for the Sunday Masses are assigned on a three-year cycle. 

So, every three years, we begin again using the same series of readings.

Personally, that means that some of my favorites come up often again.

Recently, one of my favorite psalm responses from Psalm 95 was used at Mass: “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”

I have ideas for a homily that I use every time that this response appears.

“If today you hear his voice” – some are surprised at this response.

How can any of us experience hearing the voice of God? 

I believe there are innumerable ways for the voice of God to come to us, for us to discover the message of the Lord. Though not actually hearing the actual voice of God – it is just as if we heard the actual voice of God.

One way in which we certainly hear the voice of God is in Sacred Scripture. The Gospels bring us the voice of Jesus telling us the stories that he used to teach us God’s message.

At times of personal prayer, if we listen carefully we should recognize God’s voice, God’s message. 
At Mass, the voice of God comes through the actions of our liturgy.

Often someone, like a friend or a family member will share with us something that surprisingly seems to come from God.  Children are so good at coming up with a divine message.  It even seems like the voice of God.
Personally, I truly believe, from my own experience, that God has a message for each of us each and every day - sometimes an encouragement, sometimes a challenge. 

Often at the end of the day, I look back at something I have done or said that was simply perfect.  I know it was the Lord – guiding and helping me – speaking to me. 

In the Gospels, Jesus makes it clear that he will be with us to show us the way.  He will be with us like a friend.
“Harden not your hearts” – there are times when we literally block out the voice of the Lord.  Our psalm tells us that this is when we “harden our hearts.”  Hearing the Lord is the action of the heart.  To find God, we must have a loving heart, a heart that is alive in faith. 

At the Last Supper, Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come to us and make an abode in our hearts.  When our hearts are hardened, we will lose touch with Our Savior.

Jesus came to this world to soften our hearts so that we can find the presence of God.  Jesus gives each of us the opportunity to soften the hearts of others, by the way we live our lives, living like Jesus, by the way we treat others, by saying and doing the right thing.In this way as disciples of Jesus, we make the world a better place.

It is all about gratitude.  Our Lord and Savior, came to this world to live with us and die for us.  Jesus rose to new life for us through his resurrection. 

Jesus comes to walk with us and be our friends – bringing us God’s message of love and peace – bringing us the voice of God.

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

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