I woke up at 2am and was unable to return to sleep. Something was bugging me. It’s two days before Christmas and I felt an unexpected sense of urgency to listen to the knot in my stomach that I have been semi-ignoring for the past several days.
“The Word of God is coming, Ann. Are you ready to listen to Him?”
This thought had entered my mind. It has descended and is now knocking on the door of my heart. What would it mean if I opened that door? What would it mean if I said – as I have already said many times before (or so I thought!) – “Yes”?
The listening I am being called to is not a mere inclination of my ear. Nor do I feel this time that I am being asked to “incline the ear of my heart” (Rule of St. Benedict). Instead, this time I feel as if I am being asked if I was ready to receive the Word of God as the parched earth receives rain, or as an empty womb receives new life.
To listen to the Eternal Word is to be transfixed by Him, transformed by Him, claimed by Him and sent by Him. It is a listening with the entirety of my being. I am being asked if I will, with my whole being receive the Word whom the writer of the letter to the Hebrews describes thus:
The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts more incisively than any two-edged sword: it can seek out the place where soul is divided from spirit, or joints from marrow; it can pass judgement on secret emotions and thoughts. No created thing is hidden from him; everything is uncovered and stretched fully open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves.Hebrews 4:12
Dare I believe that the Word of God who sees me so clearly and knows me so intimately (even between my joints and marrow!) comes again this Christmas with full measure of unconditional love and divine mercy to liberate me? Dare I believe the all-powerful and all-knowing God comes to live in me so that with his life in me I might follow Him even to where I would rather not go (Jn 21:18)?
Let God speak His Word – the Word which will not return without accomplishing what He was sent to do (Isa 55:11). I will receive the Word, and by His grace be a home for Him until together I can say with Him, “It is finished.” (Jn 19:30).
So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth;Isaiah 55:11
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.