’s Mark Kurowski reflects on our ability to hearJesus.  Can you hear him now? Can YOU hear HIM now?   Listen to this podcast of his reflection on the readings for 4th Sunday of Easter to find out what this all means. Please read John 10:1-10. #Prayer #Sermons #Homilyhelper #HearingGod #EASTER, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday,   5/11/2014 The 4th   Sunday of Easter.

Please pause this audio and read John 10:1-10.

          “Can you hear me now?”

          There are two spots on my drive to and from work where I now know that the call will drop. I will tell people, “OK, just stay on the line. You are going to lose me for 30 seconds, but I will be back.” That, my friends, can describe the relationship that some of us have with Christ.

          As spiritual directors know, it is not unusual to have peoples say, “I just cannot hear Christ. I wish I could.” I don’t think this is an accident. When we think of the cause of sin, we are reminded of the depiction of Satan as the serpent in the Garden who introduces his own voice to question God. It is a voice that appeals to our pride, greed, anger, envy, sloth, lust and gluttony. These voices tend to be the interference which cause the voice of God to feel like it is one dropped call after another.

          I can hear Jesus from heaven, “Can you hear me now? Can you hear me NOW?”

          It is simple enough to know that we cannot hear God sometimes. We cannot hear him through all the competing voices that want us to be under their thumb; want us to be in their camp, use their product, try their service, give them access to our bank accounts, give them access to our hearts, souls, minds and strength.

          Think about it, what is more important to us at Christmas, Santa Claus or Jesus? At Easter, is it the Bunny or the Resurrection? At First Communion, is it the clothing or the Eucharist? In the checkout line, is it the clerk or the call that we “have to take?” I have one child who calls me in the middle of the day, which I love to know that they want to talk with me, but when I don’t answer I will get a text that says, “Why don’t you EVER answer your phone?” I don’t answer because I am giving my full attention to someone who is sitting in my office that needs my counsel. I am giving my full attention to my job.

          How can we ever recognize the voice of God in our lives, unless we give him our full attention for a significant amount of time?

          The next aspect of hearing the Shepherd’s voice is one of truth and honesty. God doesn’t ask us to do something for him that is not honest. If you look at this passage for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, then you will see that the Shepherd only comes through the gate, head on, with direct honesty. If it is a deal that is too good to be true, it can only be from one spiritual being, and that ain’t God. God’s words urge us to be gently honest and discreetly firm. It was Caiaphas, the high priest, who dealt in darkness and on the side to declare to the Sanhedrin that “it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people and that the whole nation should not perish.” It was Judas who took the money under the cloak of darkness. It is the Devil who comes over the fences rather than the proper and direct route through the gate.

          Matt Maher has a great song that goes, “It don’t come with a job. It don’t pay the bills. It won’t buy a house in Beverly Hills.” Listening for the voice of Jesus is about listening for the voice of Jesus. Jesus Christ is not a means to an end. He is the end. He is Omega. If we are listening for Christ so that we can get something, then that is just shady dealing. You wouldn’t want a friend or lover who just wanted you for what you could get from them. Why do we do that to Jesus? We, who have been Baptized, Confirmed and Commune with Jesus on a weekly basis, does our life testify to the truth that Jesus is the purpose of our lives? Or, is Jesus a utility that gets us to a bigger house, classier car, better resume or the latest smart phone?

          Can YOU hear ME now?

          Can you hear HIM now?

          Can you put down the phone, step away from the computer, get out of the car, take a break from your countless conversations with others and listen for the Shepherd of our souls? Until we individually make a prayer appointment with God as critical as an appointment with our boss, we will not be able to hear his voice. When we do, we will recognize that his voice is like no other. His voice brings peace that surpasses all understanding. His voice whispers the incomparable riches of wisdom. His voice brings mercy over judgment and forgiveness to us sinners. His voice brings the invitation of the Cross for the conversion of the heart. His voice announces the Resurrection of the Dead and your mansion in heaven. His voice invites us to follow him out the gate of the Sheep pen into green pastures, beside still waters, to the restoration of our souls beyond the valleys of evil and death, into his house where we shall live forever and ever.

          Can you hear. Him. Now?

Amen? Amen.

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