Several times the Gospels report Jesus saying something like ‘Whoever has ears ought to hear.’ (Mt 11:15; Mt 13:9, Mt 13:43; Mk 4:9, Mk 4:23; Mk 7:16; Lk 8:8; and Lk 14:35) He obviously is not just talking about physical hearing here. He is talking about hearing with your heart and soul.
I’ve talked about how we can experience the Lord’s presence at Mass but it shouldn’t be just a feeling of his presence. It should be relational. We should experience the Lord as someone who loves us and cares enough about us to talk to us, and listen to us, and provide guidance in our lives.
When the Scriptures are proclaimed for us at Mass, we can take a simply intellectual approach wherein we hear them or we can open ourselves to the Lord’s presence in the Scriptures being proclaimed and hear him… really hear him. Really hearing him is a dialogical experience; we may think we are talking to ourselves with our thoughts but, in actuality, we are talking to him, to whom our thoughts are responding.
The homily can be very much like hearing the Lord in the Scriptures proclaimed. When something the homilist says touches our hearts, it’s the Lord touching our heart. the emotional response that we have is a response to him.
Communal prayers are another way of experiencing the Lord speaking to us. When one of the petitions touches our heart, it is the Lord touching our heart and the prayer itself is the response. It just doesn’t always happen in the order we are used to, of hearing and then responding.
Oh, and the Words of Institution… Once we’ve experienced the Lord’s presence in the Eucharist, and believe in the Real Presence, we hear the Lord speaking directly to us, saying “This is my body which will be given up for you.”
Because of the special place Scripture has in our hearing God speak to us, I’m posting Scripture Reflections based on the Sunday Gospels. You can find them HERE.
Also, please check out my book. It is all about the presence of the Lord, hearing the Lord, and growing through that relationship. Click the link below.