Listening and Learning

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A very interesting story in our first reading today from Acts 8. The Holy Spirit sends Philip, one of the newly ordained deacons, to interpret the Scriptures for an Ethiopian eunuch. After this, the eunuch says, “Look, there is water. What is to prevent my being baptized?” Philip baptizes him, then disappears. This passage always reminds me of the teaching authority of the Church. 

We’re back in the Bread of Life discourse in John 6 for our Gospel reading. Today Jesus tells the people, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him…Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.”

In the spiritual life, listening and learning must go together. Think of it like this: we can learn things but not listen. (This is usually the painful process of trial and error – not taking instruction.) Conversely, we can listen and not learn a thing. (Wives know this as selective listening.) Things work best with God when we listen (prayer) and learn (be open to new ideas and applying them).

Father, give us open ears, open minds and open hearts that we might listen to you and learn, and draw ever closer to Jesus. Amen.

Today’s Readings

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