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Wednesday of Holy Week - April 17, 2019

After quickly skimming the first reading, my immediate reaction was that I would focus on the gospel.  Then… I read the gospel:  Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. “Ah, I think I’ll give that first reading a more thorough review” I said to myself. It took reading only the first few words to make it clear that was the right choice: “The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.”

In my case, “them” are two sons and a husband.  Well-trained may not apply to my public speaking skills, but I do feel that my calling is to be that voice for them--to have the words that will comfort them and lift them up.

Of course, that is not always easy, no matter my calling. They are human and individuals. There are times that they do not want to hear what I am saying. They let me know. Often, their resistance to my message is because I was not really listening to them. I did not fully understand their feelings and perceptions. The key for me is to keep listening and to be there with them always. To walk alongside them, “To not rebel or turn back.”

As I finish writing this reflection, something has dawned on me. God has been speaking to me as I worked my way through this process. My focus should not be to find the right thing to say to my family.  My focus should be to listen, to understand the meaning in their words as they understand them.

I do not always succeed in listening. Sometimes I fail quite miserably. Those are the times that I have to remember that I am not doing this alone. The gift of being in their lives is from God and
God is always there with me, opening my ears that I may hear.

Q:  Do I have a well-trained tongue?  How about my ears—do I listen with compassion and understanding?


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