One of our children here at the EDSA Shrine approached me and said, “Father, can you please advise my mother to lessen her talking inside the house. She has become a compulsive talker and no one else gets to talk when she is around.” One day, this very talkative mother was trying to relate intimately with her child. She said to her child, “When I die, will you allow your Daddy to get married again?” And this child said, “Maybe.” “What kind of a stepmother would you like to have?” And she answered, “I want a stepmother who is deaf and dumb.”
It is very difficult to talk when everybody talks. It is even more difficult to listen when there are so many intrusive voices.
The first reading and the responsorial psalm carry a common word that ought to be characteristic of this Lenten season: LISTEN. It is very easy to listen when everything is quiet or when everybody is mute. We can listen attentively.
In the gospel, the devil may be mute, but not all devils are mute. Most of the devils talk loud and long. Most of the devils distract us from the things that really matter. The devils of our modern age are telling us that we must be more aggressive and assertive. We must be more prosperous and prove and fulfill ourselves. Because these loud devils are telling us to be so, we are tempted to say to ourselves that we must really prosper and assert ourselves, And because of the persistent and loud voices of the devils of our age, we can sometimes play deaf to the cries of the poor saying to us, “Help us!” When the long and loud voices of the devils tell us that we must achieve and be rich, sometimes we miss the voices of our loved ones telling us, “Love me and hug me!” Because the voices of the devils of the world are telling us that we must be fulfilled, aggressive and ambitious, we sometimes fail to love ourselves unless we are slim, sexy or unless we have money.
The devil in the gospel was mute but he represented only the minority. Most of the devils are shouting loud and long and we can get distracted.
Let us again say in our hearts our response to the Psalm, “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” Listen to Him. There is already so much talking. Lent is a time for listening.
Ps 95:8/Mt 9:32
Jesus In My Heart