Friday, April 26, 2013

The voice of the Spirit

The readings this reflection is based on may be found here. (Acts 11:19-26, Ps 87, Jn 10:22-30)

My homeletics professor once told my class, “What you say is not always what people hear” and I find that to be a fitting lesson for today's Gospel.

Jesus spoke plainly, but perhaps not in the manner some expected. Jesus spoke many times in veiled language and parables for a number of reasons, often occurring at the same time. Jesus spoke obscurely so those with closed hearts could not understand. He spoke like this because some who followed him were not yet ready to understand. Likewise, he spoke in this way so that those who believe in Him may understand who He truly is.

No one comes to the Father except to Christ. No one is drawn to Christ unless the Father opens their ears, eyes, and hearts. The words of the Son are the words of the Father.

For some these words are confusing and for others they make perfect sense. When Christ speaks he divides; those who hear his voice follow and those who are not His follow someone or something else.

We see in the Acts of the Apostles that when Jesus had risen from the dead his voice was then heard in his shepherds whom He and the Apostles appointed. The voice of His shepherds is Christ's own voice. How is it that the voice of the Father, Son, and shepherds is the same? The answer lies in the Holy Spirit, whose name indicates that the breath of the Father and Son is the Spirit. When Barnabas and Paul spoke, many were added to the Lord because they were “filled with the Spirit.”

What Christ says is not always what we hear. In these instances we have an Advocate who prays unceasingly for us and groans that we might hear. May we pray that the Holy Spirit becomes the air around us, the air which allows the Word to reach our ears and allows His voice to come from our lips.