"Whoever has ears ought to hear." That’s what Jesus tells us in the Gospel for July 17. I try, I really do, but —-
For months and months, I’d noticed that my hearing wasn’t as sharp as it used to be. My husband had noticed too, as I asked him over and over to repeat himself. I knew there was a problem and assumed I knew the solution.
Hearing aids! Oh, no!! They cost too much!!! I’ll just have to live with this!!!!
Husband did his best, buying several of those cheapie “hearing amplifiers” that are advertised in the Old People catalogues. All they were was a crackling good waste of money, not addressing the root cause, as we eventually discovered.
Finally, I had to go to our family doctor for something else and happened to mention how I was putting off buying hearing aids. Doctor said, “Whoa, let’s start with looking at your ears.” He did and said, “You have so much wax packed in there that you’d flunk any hearing test. Let’s work on that first.” After a week or so of using softening drops, I returned and the nurse irrigated my ears. One piece of wax she pulled out was the size of a pencil eraser. Guess what? I could hear again!
I’m not the only human prone to diagnosing hearing loss without any scientific facts to back it up. I know someone who, alarmed by a sudden overnight decrease in hearing, went to the doctor, only to discover that she’d left a cotton ball in there from several days earlier and it had gotten packed down.
“Whoever has ears ought to be sure they haven’t constructed barriers to hearing.”
The Word of God always awaits our hearing. God is always talking to us, never ever ceasing to call us to Love. Yes, sometimes this call seems lost in the silence. Maybe God is leading us into the desert of spiritual dryness, wherein the voice seems muted, but our faith believes is still there.
More often, if we get to a place where the voice of God seems dim or absent, it is because we humans haven’t cleared out the wax from our spiritual ears. Maybe we do need to seek professional help, get a holy version of a hearing aid. For most of us, most of the time, it’s more likely to be that we need to stop clogging ourselves up with the continuous, deafening noise of our culture. Outer decibels and inner monologues all get in the way. We need to stop and be open to what awaits us. It is our responsibility.
As Jesus says, "Whoever has ears ought to hear."