Listen Carefully

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

Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.
(Luke 9:44)

Lord, help me listen and keep still
So that Your lessons I may learn,
And this cup Your Spirit will fill
With grace for Your will to discern.

All were amazed at the majesty of God. While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, He said to His disciples, “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask Him about it. (Luke 9:43-45)


Jesus had just expelled a demon from a boy and restored the lad to his father (9:42). All the people there who witnessed this were naturally in total amazement, praising God for this miracle. And then suddenly, the Source of this wonder tells His disciples that He was “going to be delivered to the hands of men.” How could one so powerful who could deliver them from the devil himself be delivered into the hands of mere men? So they could not understand His words, and chose not to ask Him about it. After all, His disciples had always heard our Lord speak in parables and figures of speech, and they would at times ask Him for an explanation. So, knowing the kind of power that Jesus possessed – over demons and the forces of nature– they could not imagine anyone, not even the whole Roman army being able to overcome Him.

Even when He was delivering people from sickness to health, or from demonic possession to freedom, Jesus was always aware of His impending passion and death in the hands of the Jewish and Roman authorities. He had to convince His disciples that His mission was not to restore the glorious past of Israel, but to restore mankind’s good relationship with God, and this could only be done through the cross. “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you,” Jesus patiently told His disciples. It was almost an exercise in futility, because at that point, they were still groping with their faith. They would only remember when Jesus had ascended into heaven.

It is most important for us to heed the words of our Savior and “listen intently” to His teachings in the Gospels. Our own deliverance depends on it. In the past, God talked to His people either directly or through His prophets. Now He talks to us through the homilies of His priests in the celebration of the Mass, and through the Holy Bible. At times we “hear” or “see” Him in revelations manifested in answered prayers or the kindness of others. But we must always be attentive; we must always listen with our heart and mind, and ask Him for the grace to understand His message.

Let me listen to Your words, my God, that I may always be guided in the right paths. Free me from my doubts and fears with Your consoling words in Scriptures. May I always be attentive to Your Word, Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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