Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Fr. Ivan Olmo

“Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”  The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola help us to listen more intently to ourselves.  To listen to how we inwardly respond to the movements that occur in our thoughts, feelings and desires and how the response to these movements become how we respond to the world. And how we respond to each individual experience we face, every decision we make and every person we encounter each and every day.  Listening is the key to our spiritual health and wellbeing. It is the key to unlocking the glorious freedom of the children of God and sharing in the joy God shares with each of us and obtaining the eternal happiness God desires for you. Do we listen to how our bodies speak to us? Do we listen to how our hearts encourage us, how our spirits lift us up, how our own minds can condemn us?  Listening with intent and being intentional about listening makes us more aware of the voices that speak to us and influence our decisions, our encounters and even our experiences.  These voices speak directly to our pain and speak directly to us during sorrow.  They are speaking to us when we are consoled and encouraged and even speak to us and tell us what we should do.  One voice encourages us to sin.  The other voice encourages us to seek the good and to avoid doing evil.  Our voice is influenced by the voice of God and the voice of the enemy depending on who we are listening to and whom we are keeping company with, depending on who we are in relationship with.  God has told us one thing, to listen to his beloved Son, Jesus. The Lord speaks directly to us in prayer, in worship, in silence.  The enemy speaks to us in confusion, in noise, in discouragement.  Listening helps us to consider who is speaking to us and how that individual voice is influencing and affecting how we respond to others.  Listen carefully to how you feel inside and how you sound outside.  Listen carefully to how you respond to your spouse, your family, your children, your coworkers, your enemies, your friends.  Listen carefully to yourself and being honest about how you sound and respond.  When our inner voices and outer speech sound harsh, impatient, uncharitable and unkind, there is a good chance you are listening to the wrong voice.  When you sound a lot like God, more like Jesus, loving, kind and gentle, then God is speaking, and his servant is listening.

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