After a few months of being an assistant parish priest in Eugene (St. Mary’s Catholic Church) one parishioner there approached me and congratulated me. She said it was amazing how quickly I was in learning to speak the English language and that I was improving a lot. She said that she used to have a hard time understanding me when I spoke (especially during the homily) but she said it was becoming easier and easier. I remember thanking her, but I knew in my mind that nothing had really changed in the way I spoke because I never really did anything to reduce my accent or I never did any English grammar language while I was there. It was not that I “improved” in the way I speak the English language, she just got used to hearing me speak.
This reminded me of that time in the life of the disciples of Jesus when they told Jesus, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure…” (Jn. 16:29). Jesus started to speak to the disciples plainly, but I do believe that the disciples understood Jesus more because they started to believe in Him more and they got used to listening to our Lord speaking to them.
Brothers and sisters, I believe that if we communicate with our Lord more often, the easier it will be for us to understand His will for us. Let us improve on our prayer life so that we will have an easier time believing our God and having trust in His will and plan for our lives. Let us look at the way we pray. Are we really communicating with our Lord or are we just uttering memorized words? Are we trying to listen to what He is telling us through the events that are happening in our lives or do we tend to try to tell Him what we think should be happening in our lives?
Hopefully, just like the first disciples of Jesus, we too will someday say “Ah, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure…” or just like that parishioner in Eugene we will say it’s easier to listen to our Lord because we are already used to hearing Him speak to us.
In Christ, Fr. Maro