Second Sunday of Lent – Gospel reading Mark 9:2-10
God is a giver. God is on our side. God wants us to thrive. All we have to do is listen and pay attention.
But if only it were as easy at it sounds. Listening to God is hard but worth it. Challenging but rewarding. Listening to and following Christ involves more than just hearing his stories or knowing his teachings. It’s more personal than that. God has very personal things to say to each one of us; wisdom that will shape us into who we are meant to be; advice that can bring us closer to experience a life full of love, joy and peace. His communication methods are as unique and varied as each one of us, and I believe it takes practice and openness to figure out how to listen to what he’s trying to tell us.
It also takes patience, because God doesn’t always speak to us exactly when we want him to. And we need to be awake and aware, because God doesn’t always speak to us exactly how we think he will. While I trust that our Father wants to tell us exactly what we need to hear at every step along the way, chances are most of us are not going to hear a voice out of a cloud. His guidance is typically more subtle than that. More likely, it will be through a conversation with a friend, words in scripture, a heightened awareness found in prayer, or maybe even through an encounter with a stranger.
The more we practice listening to God, the more we’ll learn to recognize his voice. And little by little, his guiding hand will lead us to a full life – a life of abundant love, community, peace and freedom. The more we listen, the closer we will be to being people of virtue and strong character. Men and women who are deeply grateful for our blessings, and not afraid to love at the risk of pain. People of hope. People who do the right thing even when it’s not the easy thing. People who are truly free.