by Catherine Andreadis
This special youth submission was originally a speech delivered at the 2018 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival hosted by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The speech was delivered in response to the prompt: “Christ said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 4:9). The Lord said this with reference to the way we hear the word of God. What is our response?”
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Obviously, it is quite easy to identify the source of irony in this quote: We all have ears don’t we? So we should all be able to hear the word of God. This is often on the contrary, as today more so than ever it is harder to hear and revel in God’s word cogently. In order for us to be able to soak in Jesus’ teachings to the same extent as devout followers were able to thousands of years ago, we must be all the more aware and committed. We live in a world full of seemingly endless knowledge and opinions that have the potential to distract us from God’s simple message, while in Christ’s time, there was a seemingly definite wrong and right (in other words, the existence of a gray zone was negligible). It is harder for us to hear God’s word with the same conviction because our minds are so cluttered with the noise of physical society. That’s not to say that knowledge is bad—much of human discovery has allowed us to understand the world more complexly—but we have to change the way we think and hear the word of God in order for it to resonate with us.
God’s word is universal, both in its meaning and its adaptability, which has allowed for its longevity. Continue Reading…