“If you would hearken to my commandments…” – Is. 48:18

Today’s readings remind me of my “expressive” friends. They talk with fervor, gesticulating and fluctuating their voices, eager to get their message from their brains into the world. (Ok – that friend is me sometimes!) The energy put into their speech shows the desperation they feel in expressing what they have to share – a pleading. God is that friend for me in today’s readings. God is begging me, “Listen to me!” Or as Spanish-speaking friends say, “¡'Scúchame!” (Truncating the word in enthusiasm.)

First, God urges me to listen to God. For if I would, God promises I would have my deepest desires. God is calling me to goodness and light – always. Do I desire that? Do I trust God’s promise? Am I listening?

Jesus also pleads with me. He pleads for me to recognize how unsatisfied I can be with God’s attempts to send me messages. Perhaps I’m unwilling to accept them. Such as when John tries to be a messenger of God’s salvation; and he’s dismissed as “possessed.” Then, Jesus comes to expand our view of who God loves; and he’s criticized for eating with tax collectors. I (and we) miss the point sometimes.

Sometimes I’m that little kid in the market, absorbed by what I want to share that I leave no room to listen to what God wants to share with me. And, of course, I’m indignant what I convince myself that God heard none of the million things I’m trying to express! Still, God responds to me with, “Listen to me! I’m calling you to a greater life!” “¡'Scúchame!”

To whom or what am I listening? What keeps me from listening to God? God, give me the graces needed to listen to You better today.

Vivian Valencia