Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” These words that accompany the Psalm today represent both a challenge and an invitation. To listen attentively to the voice of God as He speaks to us in Scripture, the tradition of the Church, and in our own personal prayer can be difficult. Keeping our hearts open to the promptings of God is a greater challenge still.
We are challenged to listen, first. How can we hear the voice of the Lord if we are not first listening? How often do we let the readings of Scripture wash over us, without allowing them to soak in? How often do we say our prayers in Church, but rush back to other things as soon as possible, without really allowing our prayer to impact our life? How often do we recognize that God speaks to us, not only with an audible voice, but through the teachings of the Catholic Church? Or do we see the Church’s teachings as points on a political platform to be debated and rejected?
Of course, God’s voice is always present and speaking. Our Lord always wants to speak to us, first to communicate his divine Word of love and to call us into a relationship with Himself. He speaks in Scripture, He speaks in nature, He speaks in the Church, He speaks in the inner recesses of our hearts. We should be gluttons for the voice of God, eager to hear it in every possible way, never limiting ourselves to one way or another. This voice of God must have an effect in our lives.
God’s voice speaking has effect in our lives when our hearts are open and docile enough to be transformed. Will you allow God to change your life? It is common today for people to look for the Church to simply affirm them and tell them that they’re fine. While it is, of course, true that God loves us no matter what, it is also true that God wants us to be different. Harden not your hearts, the psalm tells us. The “come-as-you-are” attitude is good insofar as it gets us through the door. But there is so much more to living the Christian life! We are invited then, by these words of the psalm, to change our lives. We are invited to take the Church’s teachings and put them into action in our lives.
Jesus speaks with authority. His word is life and love. Today, let us hear his voice and keep our hearts open to his inspiration.