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The Good News for the Day, July 26, 2017
Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time (396)

One day, Jesus went outside and sat down on the shore. Such a significant public gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down there, while the whole crowd stood on shore. He spoke to them at length in images like this: “A farmer went out to sow his field. And as he scattered seed, some of it landed on the beaten path, where birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on ground filled with rocks, where it had little soil. It sprang up right away because the soil lacked depth, and when the hot sun came, it got scorched; it withered for lack of roots. Still other seed fell in a briar patch; its thorns matured and choked it. Some other seed, though, fell on fertile soil; those seeds produced fruit—a hundred. sixty or thirtyfold. Anybody who has ears ought to hear.” (Matthew 13)

Ordinarily we hear (and see)—but all of us fail to hear (and see). Try listening to the sounds of silence—you will hear a wealth of sound. Listen to a friend, and you will hear tones of caring, intimacy and kindness. Listen to a radio voice, and be surprised at the many dimensions of what you hear—the omissions, the tone of self-assuredness, the sense of echoing others. and on and on. Anybody who has ears ought to be listening.

What is the Good News you hear in all these words…the point? It is to listen—to hear—not just words, but their pregnancy—not just the statements and words but their meaning—the after-effects, including the silences, the omissions, the selections and so on. You do not need to be smart, but you need to be alert, awake, intent—and in the end, if you hear criticisms—you hear help; if you hear “neutral stuff,”—you hear possibility; if you hear kindness and caring—you hear your divine family. And so on.

Listen for the Kingdom of Heaven. It comes in folks you see and hear—and HOW you see and hear them. The good news—the inspiration—is that—no matter what they say, it is welcome news, it is a message of God you can cherish. What you hear is the very voice of God in other people.

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