The heart needs ears, too

He will come openly, and he will not be silent (Ps 50:3). It says, "He will not be silent," because he was silent when he was being judged. But as for the words we need to hear, when has he been silent? He wasnt silent when there were patriarchs and prophets; he wasnt silent when he spoke with a human mouth. And if he were silent now, the Scriptures would not speak. The reader goes up into the pulpit, and he is not silent. The preacher speaks, and if he speaks the truth, it is Christ who is speaking. And if Christ were not still speaking, I would not be saying these things. And with your voice, too, he was not silentwhen you were singing, it was he who was speaking. He is not silent, and its up to us to listen, but to listen with the ear of the heart, since its easy to listen with these physical ears. We have to listen with the ears that the Master himself sought when he said: "Let those who have ears to hear listen" (Mt 13:9). Was there anyone there in front of him as he said this who did not have ears? They all had ears, and few of them had ears, for not all of them had ears to hear [audiendi], that is, to obey [obediendi]. (Augustine, Sermon 17, 1; PL 38, 124)

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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