Divine Dialogue of God with the Soul
By Mother Marie Julie, SCMC
My Dear Good People,
In this weekend’s Scripture readings for Mass (Ezekiel 2:2-5 and Mark 6:1-6) we hear about prophets and their message. A prophet is one who receives a word from God (or the Word of God), and speaks it to the people in His Name. In the first reading, God tells Ezekiel that even if the people don’t heed the word of the prophet, they at least know that a prophet has spoken to them. That’s interesting. It sounds like God is saying that the Word of God is so powerful it enters our heart whether we like it or not, whether or not we really listen to it. It’s there to comfort us or warn us or transform us—or perhaps all three—and when we are ready to hear it, lo, God makes it known to us. We have a patient God who cares for us down to the smallest details.
In the Gospel Jesus tells the people that He realizes some of them will not believe in Him or hear His word (especially those among whom He has grown up), but that doesn’t change the fact that He has spoken to them. What does He mean by that?
I’m not a Scripture scholar of course, but I suspect that in both readings the message for us might be this: Grace has its own time, and God will not give up on us. For, as long as we fail to respond to Grace we run the risk of missing out on the treasures He wants to give us. But the treasures will wait for us and the sooner we quiet our souls the sooner we will experience the sweetness of Grace God has prepared for us. The heartbreak would be if we never took the time to open the eyes of our heart, to reach out our empty hands to receive what God so wants to share with us.
And how do we quiet our souls to receive the Word of God? It’s a little like the summer gardens we planted some weeks ago. They need water, sun, and fertilizer; a fence or two to keep the rabbits and deer out and a few sticks to provide a place for the fruit of the seed to hold on to as it rises toward the sun. Does that sound like what we might provide for our souls? An out-of- the-way place, a little silence, a Psalm perhaps? Some good works for others, a good confession now and then or a small act of reverence—Jesus, I love You and I trust You? Then we can harvest the Word that God has planted within us.
Finally, who are the prophets who speak the Word to us? It might be EWTN, or our Pastor with a stirring Sunday homily. A Christian blog on the internet or a site such as Chosen might be the means of the Word taking root in us. It might be a member of our prayer group, or a little child telling us about her religious education class. Even a stranger who does an act of kindness for us, like carrying our groceries to the car from the store, can remind us of the Gospel passage, Whatever you did for one of Mine, you did for Me (Mt. 25:40). Any or all of these might come back to us later in the day or in a few weeks, and we whisper, God, that was You speaking to me!
Such incidents, sometimes called God moments, might be the beginning of a transformation that sees us through a stormy day or a dark night. Let us keep ourselves open to the miraculous so it may never be said of us, Jesus could work no miracles for them…so amazed was He by their lack of faith (Mk 6:5,6).
Let us pray, as we do when we make the Sign of the Cross on our head, lips and heart at the Gospel,
Jesus may I think of Thee, speak of Thee, and love Thee.