Both listening and following are active words. 'My sheep listen to my voice and they follow me' Jn 10,27. Listening to God's voice without action is not good enough, because many people listen to God's voice, but are not His disciples. To be a true disciple of Jesus, one must both listen and follow. The two go hand in hand. We all want our voice heard; even an infant cries out aloud to have attention. We all want to be heard, but in reality, we sometimes respond to other's people calling; other times we ignore them. We do the same thing to God's voice. We sometimes are very active in responding to God's voice; other times, for some reasons or another, we are inactive to it. There is no denial in encountering silence in prayers. The absence of God in prayers makes us feel that our voice is not heard. 'My sheep listen to my voice' is the calling to examine ourselves for how often we ignore God's voice. Because we sometimes don't take God's word seriously, God the Father reminds us to listen to God's only Son.
'This is my Son, the Beloved, listen to Him'. Mk 9,8.
The saying 'My sheep listen to my voice' is not the reiteration of the Father's calls us to listen, but rather, it reflects the unique unity between the Father and the Son. This exceptional unity is clearer in the following verse when Jesus said:
'The Father Who gave them to me is greater than anyone' v. 28.
This sentence reveals the unique unity between the Father and the Son, and the power of God, that the Father is the most powerful person. He is greater than anyone. There is no power on earth or in heaven that could match God's power, because nothing can match the Father's Divine power.
Instead of listening and following Jesus, we often want Jesus to listen to us and accept our way. Listening is not easy. We would love others to listen to us rather than we listen to them. We are very much selective in listening. We only want to hear what pleases us, rather than to listen to what we need to hear. Furthermore, there are different voices that invite us to follow, and we are tempted to choose the easy, less demanding way, rather than to choose the narrow and difficult one. We prefer the earthly way over the heavenly way, because the earthly way is easy with instant effects. The earthly way only leads us to the world, and nothing else; while the heavenly way has power both on earth and in heaven, and is recognized by the most powerful heavenly Father.
Last week, we knew God's word had the power to fill the empty net with high quality fish. This week reveals more about the power of God's word. It has the power to give utmost security, and to guide us from the harmful way of life. God's word has the power to keep us from any earthly power that lures us away from God. God's word is available in the Scriptures. We need to read it slowly, and carefully, and read it daily. We need to ponder upon the Word and mull over it. The historical and classic example of pondering upon God's word would be from Mary, Mother of Jesus. Mary treasured God's word in her heart. When the shepherds told Mary and Joseph what God's angels had told them about the birth of Jesus. 'Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart' Lk 2,19.
The second time when Jesus was presented in the Temple. They lost Him for three long days, finally they found Him in the Temple. They told Him of their concern. Jesus replied that He had to do His Father's business. 'They did not understand what He meant... His mother stored up all these things in her heart'. Lk 2,51.
Trusting requires not understanding, but loving. We trust someone because we love that person. We may not understand but we trust because we love.
Like Mary we pray to treasure and ponder God's word in our heart.