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Noisy Voices

March 16, Thursday, Third Week of Lent
Jer 7: 23 – 28; Lk 11: 14 – 23

In our noisy world, we are surrounded by various voices – the voice of our own selves, the voice of fellow human beings, the voice of the media, the voice of the machines and the flying vehicles, the voice of our own mind etc. Most these voices are mere noises which do not have much of significance for our lives. All these voices, including our own, are often more destructive, time-consuming, misleading, and ultimately leading us to a life of misery.

Among all these voices, there is another voice which is subtle, gentle, and intuitive. This voice is so subtle that it is available only for those who tune themselves to it. It is the voice of God. It is the voice that helps us to live our lives better.

This message is well-brought out in the first reading. Through Jeremiah, God revealed to the Israelites that listening to God’s voice leads to life, while listening to one’s own voice leads to death. Listening to God’s voice makes us his people (“Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people.”). Listening to our own voice/mind (‘Walking in our own counsels’) makes us get alienated from God. Listening to God’s voice makes us go forward. Listening to our own voice and that of the world makes us go backward. Listening to God’s voice makes everything ‘to be well with us.’ Listening to our own voice makes truth cut off from our lips (7: 28).

The gospel today presents a concrete example of these two kinds of people – Jesus was a person who constantly listened to God’s voice and thus became an instrument of life. On the other hand, the Pharisees listened to their mental voices and became the agents of death. The following words of God in the first reading were very much fitting for the Pharisees: “They did not obey or incline their ear, but, in the stubbornness of their evil will, they walked in their own counsels.” (7: 24). They spent their time criticizing and branding Jesus. Because of their hard heartedness, they were not able to recognize the working of God in the person of Jesus.

In today’s noisy culture, we are more accustomed to the external noises and to the incessant voice of our mind, it is very difficult for us to turn towards the gentle, subtle voice within us. Here lies the reason for all our sufferings and pains. Only those who tune their ears to ‘the sound of a low whisper’ (1Kg 19: 12), can, like Elijah, get guidance from God and come out of their suffering, and live their lives better. Mahatma Gandhi said, “I am not afraid of any brutal power, except the still voice that comes from within.’


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.