Thursday, April 10, 2008

Listening to the Spirit

A reflection on the Mass readings for April 10, 2008 (Acts 8:26-40; Jn 6:44-51) by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.

All the readings today deal so much with the Spirit who makes all things one in Christ. It says in the Gospel: “They shall be taught by God.” (Jn 6: 45) It is God the Spirit who continues to teach us to this very day. We hear it said in Luke, in the beginning of the Galilean ministry, “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. He came to Nazareth, went to the synagogue, was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim to captives.” (Lk 4:18-19) And in Matthew 11 we hear: “For although you have hid these things from the wise and the learned, you have revealed to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father.” (v. 25-27) And then what does Jesus say in John: “But if I go, I will send Him to you, the Advocate… when He comes, the Spirit of Truth, He will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but He will speak what He hears.” (Jn 16: 13-14). We know that obedience is about listening.
The Spirit himself listens to the Father and to the Son and passes on what he hears to us. And the Scriptures will never contradict themselves. The Spirit will ever be faithful to the Word of God. And we too, that is one way we can be sure we are doing the right thing. We are to hear the Word of God with the Church. Therefore, we must be careful to adhere to what the Church teaches, because it gives us the Word of God. The Spirit fills the Church, which in turn fills us. Therefore we must be obedient to the Church, to the teachings of the Church, to what we hear. All of it comes down to listening. If you’ve stopped your ears you won’t hear anymore. But if you’re filled to openness, you will ever hear the Scriptures poured forth into every realm of your life.
What does that say? Pay attention to your lectio. Fill yourself with the Scriptures. And you will ever be able to back up what is said because it will never be contradictory.

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