Most of the Gospel Readings we heard in the past week are about Jesus trying to convince the Jews in the temple about who He is, the long awaited Messiah, but they are not hearing him – they are not ready to hear him. Then on Thurs in the first reading we heard the story of God’s third appearance to Abraham where God announced that he was making an everlasting covenant with Abraham to make him the father of a multitude of nations. And Abraham received God’s word and listened to God’s voice.
Are we ready? Next week is Holy Week, and throughout Lent God has been preparing us to hear the Easter message – have we sat before the Lord quietly and opened our ears and our hearts? God knows with all that is happening in our lives at the moment we have a right to feel off-balance or unmotivated, perhaps even about prayer, and that’s very understandable in these very difficult times. Perhaps we could make an effort as we approach Holy Week to make some space (as Abraham did) to listen to God and to receive his word with open hearts. God has Good News for you and for me. I read somewhere recently – when God has good news for us he does not want to call and get voicemail – you don’t leave exciting, good news in a voicemail message – you want to speak directly to the other person. Is that God’s experience with us sometimes when he is trying to get through to our hearts? Am we too busy, too distracted, too worried, sometimes even too caught up in saying prayers that we forget to leave space for God to reply?
If you feel that you cannot do this at the moment, remember that St. Paul tells us that even when we cannot pray, “the Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26) And if all you can do is sit and breathe then do that; because every breath is a prayer in itself. Allow the Lord to speak to you this Holy Week – listen for his gentle voice.