Mass Reading & Meditation for May 4, 2013
Meditation: Acts 16:1-10
5th Week of Easter
We sought passage to Macedonia at once, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them. (Acts 16:10)
“Did you hear me? Were you even listening?” That sounds like something a teacher or parent would say, doesn’t it? But it’s not just children who need to learn the connection between hearing and listening. We may hear people talking all the time, but if we want a relationship with someone, we need to do some active listening as well. And nowhere is this more true than when it comes to our relationship with God.
When it comes to listening to God, the problem is, oftentimes, that we don’t always know what to listen for. That’s because God usually “speaks” in ways that don’t involve our ears. Add to that the fact that our own lack of expectation can make it hard for us to identify his voice when he does speak. Like schoolchildren everywhere, we haven’t yet learned the art of careful listening—and, like schoolchildren everywhere, we assume that our Father doesn’t have anything to say.
But the Book of Acts shows us that the apostles learned to listen to the Holy Spirit—and that we can learn as well. Because of their pioneering work as missionaries, Paul and his companions needed constant guidance from the Spirit. You can imagine that they learned from Peter and John and the other original disciples the habit of regular prayer, fellowship, and studying the Scriptures (Acts 2:42). But they also learned other ways like casting lots (1:26), being open to angelic guidance (8:26), and even taking their cue from visions (9:3; 10:11)!
Now, we may not experience visions and angels as Paul and Luke and the others did, but if we stay alert, we will see other signs. Of course we can expect to hear him through the words of Scripture and the Church. But we can also hear him speaking through our circumstances, through our Christian brothers and sisters, even through the beauty and majesty of his creation. God wants to teach us and to give us direction, and he will do this in many ways. So watch and listen today, and find out what God has to say to you.
“Holy Spirit, I believe that you want to speak to me. Teach me to listen to you.”
Psalm 100:1-3, 5; John 15:18-21