Listening heart

| Deacon Jim Bauhs | July 26, 2017 | 0 Comments


When was the last time that you had a conversation with God? Who initiated the conversation? God or you?

In our first reading from the first book of Kings, God initiates a conversation with King Solomon, who lived 970­–931 B.C.

The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. He said, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.”

How does King Solomon respond? By humbling himself before God and recognizing that God has not only selected Solomon as king, but he has also chosen the Israelite people. In John’s Gospel, we are reminded by Jesus that “it was not you who chose me, but I who chose you” (Jn 15:16). So remember that God has chosen you, too.

King Solomon does ask for something — “an understanding heart.” The Hebrew modifier is “shome’a,” which can also be translated to “listening.” Thus, Solomon is asking for an “understanding” or “listening” heart.

Approximately 1,500 years later, we have St. Benedict — who lived 480–547 A.D. — instructing his monks to listen with “the ear of their heart”: “Listen, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart. This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice.”

These same rules are still being followed today — nearly 1,500 years after St. Benedict first instructed his monks. These rules can help us in our daily lives.

We should be like King Solomon and ask God to help us to listen better. Think of how much better the world would be today if we listened more and reacted or responded less. To further reinforce this listening or understanding heart, we have a prayer from one of the greatest deacons, St. Francis of Assisi:

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled,
as to console; to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Pray this week that you may be able to recognize when God initiates his conversation with you. Let each of us also remember that we have been chosen by God to listen with “the ear of the heart,” seek to understand and be granted a small share of the wisdom of Solomon.

Deacon Bauhs was ordained in 2010. Before being assigned to St. Joseph in Waconia in February, he served at Guardian Angels in Chaska for more than six years. He is also the director of mission and outreach at St. Hubert in Chanhassen.

Sunday, July 30
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time


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Category: Sunday Scriptures