06 April 2019: Do we ever listen seriously?

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Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Reading: Jeremiah 11:18-20; Gospel: John 7:40-52

‘‘There has never been anybody who has spoken like him.’

A disciple went to a Guru, asking for enlightenment. The master took him to his garden in total silence, and suddenly asked the young man, “What happened just now?” “I heard the sweet sound of a cuckoo calling its mate from the northwest direction,” replied the disciple. “You may go. You are already enlightened!” said the Guru. “When you get out of your mind, and become aware of the reality around you, you are in touch with the truth.”

Most of us do not seriously listen to anything, be it to nature, other people, to God or even to one’s own heart. When we hear something, we filter it through our own sieve of interest and grasp it in that light, not as it was spoken. Hence, we do not perceive truth as it is, but as it is convenient to us. One of the beatitudes that Jesus could have said was: Blessed are those who listen, they will know the truth!

In the audience of Jesus there were two kinds of people – ‘those who had been listening to him’ and ‘those who were out to kill him’. The first kind said that he was the Christ. The soldiers, enamoured by what they heard, said: “No one had ever spoken like him.” But the Pharisees did not want to listen. The ‘Law’ was the screen that blocked out every other truth for them. ‘This rabble knows nothing about the Law’ they said. But then even when Nicodemus, who knew the law objected they asked him whether he too was a Galilean!

There is no one deafer than the one who does not want to hear. There is no blind man worse than the one who has refused to see! What are the areas of our deafness and blindness?

 

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