I am certain that we have experienced hearing something that we didn’t like to hear. What do you do when you hear something you don’t like to hear. What do you do? I don’t what to hear it but I heard it. What do you do?
The gospel begins with “Six days later”. It is clear – six days later. So why is it important to say – six days later? What happened six days earlier? Six days earlier the Lord said, who do people say that I am? And they said, “Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” And then the Lord said, “Who do you say that I am?” And Peter said, “You are Christ, the Son of God.” And then the Lord said, “The son of man will persecute and put to death the son of God. Have courage.” They did not like to hear that. So what did Peter say? No. What did the apostles say? No. And the Lord insisted it will happen. No. That is not acceptable. We cannot bear it. That cannot happen because You are the Messiah. That can never happen to the Messiah. And they heard something they did not like to hear, that their master, their teacher will suffer. They did not like to hear that. So six days later, the Lord brings them up the mountain. And in the mountain, cool, quiet, prayerful, meditative, mystical, a voice was heard – “Listen to Him.” What does it all mean? Six days earlier, my son said to you – he will suffer. Six days earlier you heard it and you refused it. Six days earlier, you heard it and you debated with Him. Six days earlier you heard it and you refused to believe. Now the Father says – “Listen to Him.” Six days earlier, they heard him. Six days later, they were asked to listen to Him. We hear with our ears. We give meaning according to our own mind.
That is what happens when we hear something. When we hear a certain noise, we deem it to be just noise. But if you listen intently, you will understand that it is not just noise but the bark of a dog, meow of a cat, or ma-ah from a cow or the sound of a car, the sound of a fireworks, sound of firetruck or sound of the police siren. There are so many noises around us but we shall not understand if we don’t listern. In other words, brothers and sisters, we can hear noises and the noises can disturb us. We can hear with our ears and our ears will tell our mind, this is what you heard, interpret it. What is the difference with listening? Listening means – you listen not with your ears but you listen with your heart. And the meaning does not come from you brain. The meaning does not come from your mind. The meaning is given by the person who spoke to you because there is meaning in what the Lord said and they did not understand.
What I am saying might sound too deep, too complicated but all I’m trying to say is this. When you hear something that you don’t like to hear, most likely you will fight. You will argue. You will debate. You will rebut. You will refuse o magwo-walk-out ka because you heard something you did not like to hear. Today the Lord says – When you hear something you don’t like to hear – Don’t talk. Go up to the mountain of your reflection. Go up and pray. Be quiet. Enjoy the breeze of your spiritual mountain. And in that mountain, do not just hear. Listen. And you know what, the Lord says, “If you learn how to listen, you will see greater things than that.” We must learn how to listen because listening is the way to love.
We don’t listen if we don’t have love. We must learn how to listen. Because we receive faith by listening. If we cannot listen, we will not grow in faith. We must learn how to listen because listening increases our hope. Because people who hope, people who listen will be able to understand – I heard something, now I listen. And now that I listen, I understand – It is the Lord. My brothers and sisters, we are on the second week of Lent. Last Ash Wednesday, I said to you, increase your thankfulness, your gratitude. This second week of Lent, my advice to you, increase your listening. There is so much noise. There is so much talk. Sometimes, you don’t like to hear but just stop. Keep quiet. Listen with your heart. And let your listening be your expression of love. Let your listening lead you to deeper faith. Let your listening increase your hope because the Lord is with us.