Teach Me to Listen

Mark 16:15-20   “Teach me to Listen”

Mark is the evangelist, and evangelism is about naming grace–not about brow beating people to “believe”, for God is present in every nick and corner of our lives, if we open our eyes. Grace is communicated in our loving and listening to another person–not in our brow beating.

Fr. John Veltri writes “Teach me to listen, O God, to those nearest me, my family, my friends, my co-workers. Help me be aware that no matter what words I hear, the message is “Accept the person I am. Listen to me.”

I listened, simply listened,  for two hours to a young guy last night from 3-5 in the morning. He felt all alone, not accepted by his friends, rejected.  I was burning up with fever. After he hung up I tried to go to sleep, but simply was too sick, and I felt feelings of total loneliness.  And in those moments I knew Jesus was present, in my pain, and that is why I am able to let people bring me their pain. Even in our own pain we need to listen and grace is named in our listening, in our caring.  I hear comments all the time like, “We all have problems,” which to me says we simply do not want to be bothered by another person and their pain.  But naming grace for me is to be bothered, even if   what to me seems the most insignificant, for what is insignificant to me is important to another–and some times it is life saving important. I have had people talked to me about the most insignificant, insane items, only to be expressing their hurt, anger, and tell me later they were thinking of suicide  until i took the time to sit with them.  In life I have learned it is the :”little things” that matter,not the big ones.  A former volunteer commented one time, “all you do is listen, that is a waste of time,” and that is why he is a former volunteer, for listening is the most important thing another person can do for another. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!”

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