Father Ricardo's Column

During the past several weeks, the Church
provides us with week after week of passages
from the Gospel of John. Each section is part
of what is called the “Bread of Life Discourse”.
In one situation after another, we hear Jesus
trying to clarify who He is and what His mission
encompasses. Most often, there is a lack of
understanding. The misunderstanding comes
from a refusal to listen and to hear.

In today’s gospel, the religious authorities
couldn’t hear because a Galilean carpenter
had the audacity to preach. Neighbors and
childhood friends couldn’t hear because they
knew the unimpressive family background.
The disciples, who had been present at many
miracles, couldn’t hear because the miracles
were not proof of what they expected.

There is an old saying that some people see
the world with rose-colored glasses, some with
a jaundiced eye. Neither achieves a true view
of reality. The same applies to listening.

There are several kinds of ineffective listening:
listening of criticism, listening of resentment,
listening of superiority, and listening of
indifference are a few. Poor listening obscures
hearing because it is governed by human
values and human standards. There is no clear
hearing under these circumstances. Poor
listening is toxic.

To misinterpret the message of Jesus is to
miss life in this world and in the world to come.
To hear clearly is to find real life in this world
and glory in the next.

Father Ricardo