May 11, 2014 - 4th Sunday of Easter, Year A
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
We don’t listen when people talk to us anymore. We choose, rather, to be entertained by giving our brains short-term dopamine fixes.
We do that by using YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Internet pornography.
We text instead of talk. We stick earbuds in our ears to block out everyone and everything. Then we wonder why we’re loosing our hearing.
The result: we don’t listen.
We don’t listen to our parents. Parents don’t listen to their children. We don’t listen to our teachers. Teachers don’t listen to their students. We don’t listen to our doctors. Doctors don’t listen to their patients. We don’t listen to our pastors. Pastors don’t listen to their parishioners.
We always think we know better. And so what do we do? We go off and do our own thing. Typically, we make a mess of it. And then we wonder why we’re anxious, upset, depressed, lonely, lost, stressed.
We’re just like a bunch of sheep who don’t hear the shepherd’s voice. Wandering about, lost as lost could be.
The readings today are about listening. If we don’t listen, we cannot hear the voice of the Good Shepherd.
And yet, we make a mistake when we think that there is only one way that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, will speak to us.
Jesus speaks to us through the Scriptures, through the Breaking of the Bread, but also through those he brings into our lives.
Sometimes we need to listen to others, instead of always trying to manipulate them into doing what we want. If we’d start to listen, really listen, then I think we’d begin to recognize that we don’t know it all.
And coming to that realization we would begin to see that we have much to learn from one another.
We really do need to listen to our parents and our teachers and our pastors. They really do care about us. They are the people in our lives who love us and call us by name, just like the Good Shepherd does.
Those who call us by our names, help us recognize that we don’t know it all. They help us grow in our ability to listen. They care about us and want to see us live rich lives of faith.
If we would begin listening, then slowly, gradually, our hearing would improve and we would begin to hear the voice of Jesus the Good Shepherd calling us to follow.
We would begin to hear Jesus the Good Shepherd who is the gate for the sheep leading them to greener pasture.
We wouldn’t need those short-term dopamine fixes anymore.
We would be able to follow where our Good Shepherd leads so that we could rejoice and say, “I was lost but now I’m found.”