Daily Reflection – 12/5/19
Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”( Matthew 7:21, 24-27)
We all know that there is a clear difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is much simpler than listening. When I hear the other person, I literally hear their words and the content. However, I may not hear the layers of emotion or meaning that the individual may be trying to convey. When we truly attend to what another person is saying, we not only hear their words, we also are attentive to their tone of voice, facial expression, anxiety level or their sense of calm. We also may get a sense of what they have not said.
Much of our day is spent hearing what others are saying. And this is appropriate. Most of our conversations are functional or casual conversations. However, do we recognize it when another person needs us to truly listen to them? At times, we all need someone who will do more than simply hear our words. We need individuals in our lives who take the time to truly listen to us.
However, Jesus also wants us to listen to Him. He desires that we truly attend to what He is saying. In his Holy Rule, St. Benedict instructs us: “listen with the ear of your heart!” Listening with our ears is second nature to us. However when we “listen with our hearts,” we are fully present and attentive to the other person. Today Jesus will invite you (and me) to “listen attentively with the ear of your heart.” Will we take the time and give Him the attention He desires?
Prayer of The Day
Lord, you are the only foundation that can hold us up when trials and disaster threaten us. Give me the wisdom, foresight, and strength of character I need to do what is right and good and to reject whatever is false and contrary to your will May I be a doer of your word and not a hearer only.
Builders usually lay their foundations when the weather and soil conditions are at their best. It takes foresight to know how a foundation will stand up against adverse conditions. Jesus prefaced his story with a warning: We may fool humans with our speech, but God cannot be deceived. He sees the heart as it truly is — with its motives, intentions, desires, and choices (Psalm 139:2). There is only one way in which a person’s sincerity can be proved, and that is by one’s practice. Fine words can never replace good deeds. Our character is revealed in the choices we make, especially when we must choose between what is true or false, and good or evil. What can keep us from falsehood and disaster? If we make the Lord and his word the rock and foundation of our lives, then nothing can shake us or keep us from God’s presence and help. Is the Lord and his word the sure foundation of your life?