Our first reading opens with this, “Thus says the Lord: This is what I command my people: Listen to my voice.”
We can listen to God’s voice when we are searching for it by praying over his words from the Bible.
As a young Catholic seminarian I was assured that the Catholic Church had the answers to all our spiritual yearnings. I would have left the seminary for a more adventurous life, but I decided instead to stay with our Church’s certainties.
As I matured, however, I came to see that God does not want his church to give us all the answers. I have a friend who grew up on the banks of the Ohio River, and he wrote a poem about his lifelong struggle with doubts. In his poem he told of how as a boy he had thought that maturity would clear away those doubts, but instead, with the years, he has only seen those doubts “silting into islands.”
The fact is that our greatest people are life-long seekers after spiritual truths. Just this week I became aware of the Templeton Prize that each year is awarded to one outstanding searcher for spiritual realities. Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have been honored in other years.
This year the Templeton Prize went to Msgr. Thomas Halik, a Czech priest, and a convert to Catholicism. Father Halik worked with the Czech underground during twenty years of Communist rule. He has often been quoted as saying that good people must be constant “seekers” after spiritual realities.
I began this by mentioning today’s first reading where the Lord commands us to listen to his voice. I followed that up by saying we seek out his voice by praying over his words from the Bible.
You, of course, have your favorite Bible passages, but you might also give prayerful consideration to some phrases from Chapter One of John’s Gospel. I will give the verse number for each of these phases that you could use for matter for searching out God’s voice.
1. “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.”3. “All things came to be through him.” 4. “Through him came life, and the life was the light of the world.” 14. “The Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us.” 17. “The law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”