A reading from the gospel according to Luke 10:13-16
Jesus said to them,
13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.
15 And as for you, Capernaum, ‘Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.’
16 Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”
Good News: Whoever listens to Jesus’ disciples also listens to Jesus Himself.
Depending on the bible version you are using, the word “listen” or “hear” appears hundreds of time in the bible which means, it is an important word. Its value cannot be overemphasized. Without it, there can be no understanding. Without it, there can be no effective communication.
Listening to the Word of God is a necessary part of communicating with the Lord through prayer. God speaks to us through His Words as written in the bible and as spoken by His messengers. It is the only way to gain knowledge and wisdom and to know His will for us. We want to ask many things from God. Let us also listen to him because He also wants to tell us many things.
When Jesus sent His 72 disciples to heal the sick and proclaim the gospel of the kingdom, He intended these disciples to be His mouthpiece. Unfortunately, some towns did not listen to them. Hence, Jesus rebuked them, saying “Woe to you…” Jesus then warns them that it is not only Him that they rejected but also God the Father who sent Him.
Today, those in the Church’s ministry of proclaiming the Good News of salvation are likewise disciples of Jesus. They are sent to us by Jesus through their calling. The same warning is also given to us because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. If we listen to these anointed preachers and servants of the Church which is the Body of Christ, we listen to the same Son of God who once walked on earth. Woe to anyone who rejects them.
The word “listen” or “hear” comes from the Hebrew word “shema”. It is first mentioned in Deuteronomy 6:4 thus “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.”
See also: Matthew 11: 20-24 Reflection