The Gospel has the phrase Very truly I tell you three times:
- The Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing, for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.
- Anyone who hears my words and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.
- The hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
These instances show the relationship of the Son to the Father. The Son does only what the Father does. While the Son is different from the Father, both are united as one God, such that hearing the words of one is hearing the words of the other. The words of the Son give life when one believes in it. Life, in this context is not just physical life, but it is a life based on what God has planned. It is a life of communion with him. Who are the dead who hear the voice of the Son of God? The dead are those who had lived separate from God. No matter how far they have strayed, when they hear the voice of the Son of God and believe him, they will be give life.
It is God’s will that all be saved which is why Jesus constantly calls us to himself. But we need to respond to that call. When we hear, there is no more time to wait. St Paul quoted the First Reading when he said In a time of favor, I have answered you, on a day of salvation I have helped you. St Paul continues, now is the time of favor, now is the day of salvation. There is no time to wait and to waste. We respond to God when we hear his call.
Why delay in coming back to the Lord when the chance to do so is here. Why wait for several more years before answering God’s call? Who would not want a life with God? Jesus said this is a life of union with God. The First Reading tells us, this is the life of freedom from our addictions, a life of being in the light of God, a life where all our needs are satisfied to its fullest by God, because it is a life with him!
Many say I will go back to God when I have straightened my life. This reasoning is flawed because it is like saying, I will see my doctor when I get well. The reason why God calls us is that he knows we need help. God is not expecting us to be perfect. He just expects us to trust him enough to accept his call. God calls, because he knows our weaknesses, he knows our struggles, he knows the darkness we had, the sins, the shame and guilt. And he calls us because he wants to take us and heal us. He is the doctor we run to, so we can be healed.
Lord, I hear you. You said anyone who hears your voice and hears you will live. Give me this life you have promised. Help me Jesus, I trust in you.