During the Babylonian captivity, the exiles prayed: “Justice is with the Lord, our God; and we today are flushed with shame, we men of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem, that we, with our kings and rulers and priests and prophets, and with our ancestors, have sinned in the Lord’s sight and disobeyed him. We have neither heeded the voice of the Lord, our God, nor followed the precepts which the Lord set before us. From the time the Lord led our ancestors out of the land of Egypt until the present day, we have been disobedient to the Lord, our God, and only too ready to disregard his voice.
And the evils and the curse that the Lord enjoined upon Moses, his servant, at the time he led our ancestors forth from the land of Egypt to give us the land flowing with milk and honey, cling to us even today. For we did not heed the voice of the Lord, our God, in all the words of the prophets whom he sent us, but each one of us went off after the devices of his own wicked heart, served other gods, and did evil in the sight of the Lord, our God.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
In today’s first reading Baruch three times characterizes sin as not listening to the voice of God. Ignatian spirituality is based on the conviction that God speaks to his people, not just through the Church, but to each individual, on retreats, in prayer, and throughout the day. The daily Ignatian prayer called the Examen helps us become ever more aware of God’s voice.
We don’t always listen. Perhaps we doubt an infinite ocean could desire to speak to a drop of water. Perhaps we fear what God might say. Perhaps we prefer to do things our way rather than God’s.
But if we try to listen, we’ll hear. If we respond to his words, our hearing will improve. If we ignore his words, eventually we’ll grow deaf. Jesus said that his sheep recognize his voice, listen to it and follow him. Can we hear him speaking to us this day?
—Fr. Peter Fennessy, S.J. is a retreat director and spiritual counselor at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House, Bloomfield Hills, MI.
Angels of God, our guardians dear, to whom God’s love entrusts us here.
Ever this day be at our side—to light, to guard, to rule, to guide. Amen.
—Traditional prayerPlease share the Good Word with your friends!