I am of the age that I remember singers Andy Williams and Dean Martin. Just the other week, I heard Andy crooning “Moon River” and Dean warbling “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime.” There is no mistaking their famous and distinctive voices. Of course, that is true about many people’s voices, whether they be singing or just speaking.
Sometimes I wonder about Jesus’ voice. Was it very loud, because he often taught big crowds outdoors? Was it usually calm—except when he was driving money-changers from the Temple or reprimanding the Pharisees or Sadducees? Did it sound authoritative? Just imagine how it sounded when he cried out at the tomb, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:43)
As Holy Week approaches, with the reading of the Passion of the Lord, I cannot help but think about the sound of the crowd’s voices yelling,” Crucify him!” Was Jesus losing his voice after the terrible scourging they gave him?
The people heard the voice of God the Father at Jesus’ baptism, proclaiming, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:7) And at Jesus’ Transfiguration, which we recently read about at Mass, the Father again said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5)
What does God’s voice sound like today, for each of us? Jesus is not literally walking among us and teaching us, and yet he speaks to our hearts. He does not text us or call us on our cellphones. The Father does not speak to us from parted clouds. In 1 Kings 19:11-12, we read that the Lord spoke to Elijah not in a great wind, nor in an earthquake, nor in a fire, but in “a still small voice.”
Perhaps we should seek out more silence in our lives so we can be aware of the Lord speaking to us. Sometimes when we read or hear a Bible passage, certain words or phrases may seem more relevant to us on a particular day. After receiving the Holy Eucharist, in our quiet time of prayer and thanksgiving, Jesus may put a message on our heart about some loving action we should take, some problem we should solve, or some sin we are being helped to avoid. The Holy Spirit may inspire us with a love message to give to someone or a way to comfort someone in need.
We can also use our own voices to spread God’s word and his love. In John 1:23, John the Baptist says,
“I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the
Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said.
John the Baptist was trying to prepare the people for the blessing of Jesus walking among them. We can be a voice sharing the joy of knowing Jesus, our Savior, the one whose resurrection we will soon celebrate again this Easter! We might even sing about that good news, because Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime!
Image: The Prophet Elijah, detail from a painting by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (Raphael) on a Vatican postage stamp issued to commemorate the Transfiguration of the Lord, 1976.
Scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.