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Which voice do we hear?

– Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter –

“My sheep hear my voice.” [Jn 10:27]

In this world of social media and the 24-hour news cycle there are many voices grabbing for our attention. People make money because of the number of listeners/followers they have! So there is competition for your ears! The challenge that this multiplicity of voices creates is that of endless noise, and an inability to easily distill the voices to the ones that deserve our attention. It is on this point that today’s gospel is perhaps more relevant than ever. Amongst the white noise of the voices vying for our attention, how do we hear the voice of Jesus?

Even before the internet was invented, philosopher Soren Kierkegaard saw this problem with great clarity. He wrote, “if I were a physician and I were allowed to prescribe one remedy for all the ills of the world, I would prescribe silence. For even if the word of God were proclaimed in the modern world, how could one hear it with so much noise? Therefore, create silence!” He shares his own experience of this in another text where he wrote: “I found I had less and less to say, until finally, I became silent, and began to listen. I discovered in the silence the voice of God.”

Kierkegaard recognizes more than just the multiplicity of voices around us that create noise and distraction. He sees the noise within himself – his own thoughts, his own self-talk, and the way that it prevented him from hearing God.

Our challenge this day is to live as sheep that hear the voice of the shepherd. How might we hear this voice? The place to start is by silencing all the other noise. Take a moment today to sit in silence. Leave the phone in another room. Ask God to still the noise inside you so that your mind and heart are emptied of chatter… then, look to the shepherd – Jesus. This can take place in Mass, in Eucharistic adoration, or in the quietness and simplicity of your own home. If the silence and stillness is a challenge, read today’s gospel, reflect for 2 minutes, read it again, reflect again, and read it again… “The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice” – Jesus.

by Dcn Peter Pellicaan

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