Listening Right

Luke 9: 43b-45
Zec 2:5-9, 14-15a / Jer 31

Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.
(Luke 9:44)

We’ll find it hard to understand
Why Jesus had to die for man,
Unless we see God’s perfect plan
Revealed as only Scriptures can.

While everyone was amazed at all that He was doing, Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.’ But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they should not understand it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying. (Luke 9: 43-45)


The Gospel reading for today is one of the shortest in our daily meditations of the Word of God. But the idea behind the words our Lord spoke took the longest time for His followers to comprehend. He had always spoken to them in parables, and whenever they could not understand they had always asked Him for an explanation. But in this instance, they had kept their silence. They were afraid to ask, because they were afraid to face the truth that the kingdom our Lord was telling them about was not of this life, and instead of glory and victory, there would be defeat and suffering. It was hard enough to understand the plan of the Messiah; it was even harder to accept His self-defeating prophecies.

There was another reason why the apostles were hardly paying attention. They were too preoccupied with the coming glory of Israel when the Messiah would lead them to victory against the Romans, and restore their former glory. After all, their enemies would be no match against the powers at the Lord’s disposal. Their minds were too preoccupied with what positions of power were going to be allocated to them, the chosen ones of the Savior. Their little minds could not see that our Lord was talking about a different kind of salvation, a different kind of freedom, and a Kingdom beyond their ken.

At times we are much like His apostles when we cannot understand what God’s plan is in our lives. We do not strive to discern whenever we are tormented by trials and tribulations. We do not employ those precious virtues of prudence, patience, fortitude, and long-suffering, which, when applied lead us to a higher level of wisdom. Once again Jesus is telling us: “Pay Attention!” Do not despair when circumstances seem to go the wrong way, contrary to our expectations. God has a plan in our lives, and we have to trust in the Father’s mysterious ways.

Lord Jesus, in today’s Gospel You tell us to listen, and try to understand with our hearts, and not with our minds. In our preoccupation with the mundane, we fail to grasp the essence of the Father’s all-encompassing Plan. Too often, we only concern ourselves with our own selfish interests, forgetting that we exist in a community of Brothers and Sisters, who also need our attention and care. Grant us the grace to change our mind-set about a lot of things in our lives, especially when it comes to dealing with others. Help us be other-oriented, not thinking of our own needs and desires, but always looking out for the welfare of others. This is what we should be paying attention to. Amen.

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