We Must Hear in Order to See

The Gospel for today’s Mass (Monday of the 5th Week of Easter) makes an interesting connection:

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him,
“Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us
and not to the world?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him” (John 14:21-23).

Thus, there is a connection between hearing and seeing: we must hear in order to be able to see.

In this context, hearing and seeing refer to more than the mere physical acts. As Jesus clearly states, hearing His word is linked to obeying it. The word “obedience” comes from the Latin roots ob (before or near) and audire (to hear, listen, or hearken). Hence, hearing means keeping the Commandments and keeping the Lord’s Word. St. Paul said, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ (Rom 10:17). Hence, it is listening to the Word of God and obeying its precepts that opens our spiritual eyes so that Christ and the love and presence of the Father are revealed to us.

Similarly, seeing does not refer to light rays touching our retinas. Rather, it means a spiritual comprehension in which the glory of God and His truth become increasingly evident to us.

Recall from John’s Gospel the man blind from birth. He heard the Lord tell him to go wash in the Pool of Siloam. He went, washed, and came back able to see (cf. John 9). Obedience to what is heard leads to God revealing Himself to us.

Summarizing this brief reflection: it is necessary to hear with obedience in order to see, that is, in order to experience the ongoing presence of God in our life. Listen well, that you may see.

This chant says, “Hear, O Daughter, and see. Incline your ear, for the King desires your beauty.”