Last Sunday, my parish priest gave a great homily on the Transfiguration. We pray and meditate on this event in the Fourth Luminous Mystery of the Holy Rosary. He focused on what God told the apostles, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” I’m going to focus on that last part about listening to Jesus. Or rather, all the ways we often don’t listen to Him. My priest classified people’s attention to Jesus’ message into three groups — those who are half deaf, half listening, and fully deaf.
The first group are those who are “half deaf” or spiritually hearing impaired. These people hear God’s message but only process the “easy” parts. They hear that God loves them and will forgive them. But they don’t hear how they must take up their cross and follow Jesus. They don’t hear that they need to lead a life of conversion and can’t just live according to their own conscience if it’s not well formed. The half deaf sort of hear Jesus’ teachings but not all of it. They hear that Jesus loves them and think that’s enough to live however they want.
This group picks and chooses the teachings they like or agree with. These people are similar to the spiritually hearing impaired. They hear Jesus’ teachings and may even be passionate about a few of them. They will even put in the hard work and bear their crosses if they need to. But they may completely disregard certain Church teachings they don’t like. You usually see this in so-called “social justice” Catholics who work hard helping the poor or persecuted but then support pro-abortion politicians and
This group doesn’t hear Jesus’ message at all because the world drowns it out. Instead, they are completely tuned into the world as presented by popular media, late night talk shows, TV, movies, and politicians. They hear about Jesus’ message through various mediums that filter and distort His teachings. They don’t hear the authentic message of the Catholic Church but a fictional, stereotypical account of it.
Where do you fit in? Most of us fall into these categories at different points in our life. I know I probably lived days where I fell into all three of these groups. Lent is a great time to think about how well we are listening to God. Are we making an effort to truly hear Jesus’ message or filtering and distorting it? Now is a good time to read the Bible, encyclicals, and the Catechism and listen to how Jesus truly wants us to live. Approach Jesus’ teachings with an open mind and heart so that the Holy Spirit may work wonders in you. Finally, pray for everyone who experiences some sort of spiritual hearing impairment.