Do You Hear Mainly What You Want to Hear?

Jer 20:10-13 / Jn 10:31-42

For too many of us too often, conversation is a game, whose only goal is winning.  It’s a deadly game, and both truth and love are its victims.  How clearly we can see that in today’s gospel.  Jesus wanted to give his listeners life, but all his listeners wanted was to win an argument.  It was a short-sighted, fear-driven choice to be sure, and it left them empty handed in the end.

Jesus is making the same offer to us now.  “Come with me,” he says, “and I’ll show you the way to a life that’s not only full and rich but everlasting as well.  Just walk with me, listen to me, watch what I do, and then you do the same.  It will take some close listening and some re-thinking of old habits, but I’ll help you,” says Jesus.

What a great offer Jesus is making to all of us: To be our mentors as we try to grow up and grow whole.  But our selective listening, our hearing only what we want to hear or expect to hear, can frustrate even Jesus’ best efforts.  If the re-thinking that we’re supposed to be doing in Lent is to have any value, our listening skills have to improve and our hearts have to become much more open, and much less fearful.

Trust the Lord and take the risk of listening to everything he has to tell you.  After all, he knows it all.  Wouldn’t you be foolish not to listen?