|APRIL 2006||DEVOTIONAL MESSAGE||
HE WHO HAS EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR
In the Gospels, we read that Jesus exclaimed time and time again and at many context, particularly at close of His discourse, with this phrase: 'He who has ears, Let him hear'. [tIÄ¸m³ sNhnbpÅhÀ tIÄ¡s«.] [Matthew 11:15; 13:9; St. Mark 4:9; 4:23; 7:16; St. Luke 8:8; 14:35. In Revelation 13:9 also, St. John calls out the same phrase.] It is unambiguous to deaf and dump and even to a child that Jesus was not referring to the physical ear and hearing or any ENT setback. It was an accentuation that these are things which require your serious consideration, and therefore you are all concerned to hearken to what I say. In all contexts, we infer that it was solicitation for obedience and solemn demand of attention to the word of God.
While I was serving as a priest, I visited a house. There was only a mother and her grownup son. The mother complained me that her son has a serious problem: he does not hear anything. I consoled her and suggested, there is a department in the Trivandrum Medical College by the name ENT [Ear, Nose and Throat] and we should show him to an expert specialist doctor there and get him treated. Right away, the mother retorted me angrily; 'Acha [father], you misunderstood my diction, I do not intend of any sickness, nevertheless, I meant he is disobedient.' I realized three things from her response. Firstly, we learn a lot from others and from our society surrounding us while our ears are sharp and kept attentive. Virtually, I learned more from my people and my society than what I learned through my theological training, though both added up, I presume may be insufficient for me. Secondly, we, especially ministers, should interpret and comprehend wordings or things correctly. Thirdly, hearing is clearly synonymous to obeying.
Even though we have ears and hearing competence, we do not hear or stop our ears as a deaf adder for want of will. Hearing through our ear is only a part of our hearing process. To hear by our mind, we need a will with a heeding acumen. The hearing process will be whole only when our mind respond to the voice what we heard by our ear. In short, our hearing by ear should be taken over by our mind. Our inattentiveness set off us, not to know and comprehend things properly. An adequate attentiveness leads us for responsiveness to what we hear.
Hearing the word of God with our ears and mind condenses to the obedience to God. The fertile ground which yields the fruits of Holy Spirit is an honest and reasonable heart well disposed towards the instruction and commandment of Lord. Word of God should become a part of our heart and ingredient of our life. Through the word of God, we perceive the truth of things and we should get ready to receive and accept this truth, we learned, to our life.
There are three major steps to gauge our audibility towards the word of God.
What is Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ is the living word of God. It was the word of God, which existed from the beginning, took flesh, and dwelt among us. By hearing and obeying the word of God we realize and attain Jesus Christ. The mission of our Gospel work is to tell the words told by Jesus to others and to the whole world. As Jesus Christ Himself was the word of God and the words of Jesus Christ were the words of God, the only proclamation what we need to do through our sermons, preaching or Gospel service are to repeat the words of Jesus Christ to the world. Neither anything should be added to it nor should anything be omitted from it. This etymology is to be retold always, even unto the end of the ages.
What is the attribute of Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ is the embodiment of love. He is the personification and incarnation of the love of God. The main gesture of God is His love towards His creation. 'For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' [St. John 3:16] As God loves the world at length, we should also love the world to the same extent God loves them, which in turn is our solemn love to God and His creation. We should sacrifice our privileges for the well-being of others. We should forgo our ego to love and respect others. We should love all and respect all.
The Love of Jesus did not have any boundary. It did not look neither for any type or kind. Above all we are ought to be thankful to God for his benevolences. On His last journey to Jerusalem, Jesus passed through a village in between Samaria and Galilee. He met ten lepers who stood afar off. Standing at a great distance, they cried out; 'Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!' Jesus saw them and said to them, you go to priest and show yourself, as the priests were the authority to certify on leprosy. While they were on the way they got cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Jesus answered him, were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? They were not found returned to give glory to God, except this stranger.
Only through love for all creations and gratitude to God that man can forge a deep link with God, his creator. In addition to our own love, we should lead others towards the love of God so as to transform the world totally.
[Extract from Inaugural Address delivered at Maramon Convention 2006
Original in Malayalam : Translated for LOL by Editor Dr. Rajan Mathew Philadelphia, USA]
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