The Voice of Jesus

Recently, I have been sensing in myself, friends, and family what I’ve heard called “pandemic fatigue.” It’s been about a year now of tragic loss, lockdowns, and gripping fear. Sometimes we forget what ‘normal’ felt like. We are ready for this pandemic and its effects to be over.

Where do we turn with our pandemic fatigue? As Christians we know we can always turn to Jesus Christ. And hopefully we do. And hopefully we feel the strength, grace, and love He gives us. If it’s been difficult for you to feel His love for you, I encourage you to reflect on your days and ask Him to help you recognize Him.

Today’s readings tell us the Old Testament story of Joseph and his jealous brothers. His brothers, envious of their father’s esteem and love for Joseph, sell him into Egyptian slavery. Ultimately, his brothers devious plan can’t keep God’s plans for Joseph from coming to fruition and Joseph becomes a great prophet in Egypt. When his brothers meet him years later they don’t even recognize him until he reveals himself to them.

The Gospel tells us a parable with a similar theme — a vineyard owner leases his land to tenants who fail to produce the fruit of the vineyard and mistreat and kill those who the landlord sends for the fruit of the harvest. He sends his son expecting them to respect him and instead they kill him hoping to get his inheritance. However, their blindness will cost them their true inheritance and the Kingdom of God.

Both of these stories foreshadow Jesus Christ himself and remind us that there are those who reject Jesus and those who receive Him. The latter will bear great fruit for the Kingdom of God and inherit it. It is important to note that Jesus was telling this parable to the chief priests and elders of the people — a group who likely thought of themselves as pious and holy.

Therefore, I say to you,
the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit.

Matthew 21:43

This trying pandemic season rightfully has us weary and yearning for times and experiences we once took for granted. Let us learn from the bad examples in the readings today — it is all too easy for us to fail to recognize Christ in our day to day and moment to moment. We aren’t called to a feigned happiness, but we are called to a true gratitude and joy in the knowledge of the blessings He has given us, beginning with the possibility of eternity with Him. No weariness, no burden, no sadness is to deep that He has not lived in the depths of it. And somehow, if we invite Him into whatever we are experiencing, He promises joy in the midst of it. We must challenge ourselves to recognize Him. Let us not reject the cornerstone, let us seek and recognize Him.

Lord Jesus, help me to see you. Help me to recognize you daily. I bring all of the joys and sorrows of my day to you, and I ask you to be with me through it all. I want to see you. Help me to see your hand in my life. I give you thanks and praise for all that you are and all that you’ve done. Amen.

I encourage you to listen to this song and allow the lyrics to wash over you: I Heard the Voice of Jesus (link also below).

I heard the voice of Jesus say, 
“Come unto me and rest.
Lay down, O weary one, 
lay down your head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was, 
so weary, worn, and sad.
I found in him a resting place,
and he has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say, 
“Behold, I freely give 
the living water, thirsty one; 
stoop down and drink and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank 
of that life-giving stream.
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am the dawning light.
Look unto me, your morn shall rise,
and all your day be bright.”
I looked to Jesus, and I found 
in him my star, my sun,
and in that light of life I’ll walk 
till trav’ling days are done.

Published by

Melissa

Melissa is a wife, mama, and Catholic artist striving to be a vessel for the Holy Spirit. Whether onstage or with a pen and paper, she finds deep joy and fulfillment in sharing God's truth and beauty through singing, acting, and writing. She has performed on Broadway and in the National Tour of Les Misérables. Currently, she is pursuing a M.A. in Theology through Augustine Institute, and alongside her husband, Stephen, does music ministry, having previously led the music of Frassati Fellowship in NYC. Follow their music at www.treelilymusic.com and on IG @treelilymusic

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