Hear, So As To See


“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  (Matthew 11:15)

Mothers are masters at ignoring inconsequential noises and distractions; we choose what  to hear. Our minds wander while performing our regular chores, especially the mundane repetitious tasks of housekeeping, chauffeuring and cooking. This is normal! Oral repetition may be necessary for early learners, but is usually detrimental to busy adults. Most of us easily tune out the mindless squabbles and complaints of our children and,  if we are honest, even our husbands.

Last week I came to realize this happens to me frequently during Mass.

Being one hundred percent present at Mass is challenging. We recite the same responses, know the readings and gospels, sing well-loved songs. Our minds can and will wander. But on this particular day, six words slammed into my heart and everything else faded away..

“On the night He was betrayed, ….”

Those first six simple words sang to me and I did not hear another word. Gazing at the cross, imagining Christ in the midst of His apostles, the depth of His love came through loud and clear.

  • Knowing  he had been betrayed by Judas, He did not seek revenge.
  • Knowing Peter would betray Him on that very same night, He did not turn to anger.
  • Knowing these same apostles would fall asleep when He needed them the most, He didn’t turn away  in disgust.

Jesus  knew the men and women who heard Him preach, witnessing miracle after miracle, would turn on Him the very next day. Yet He chose not to walk away from them. Offering up His Body and Blood instead, He bestowed everlasting life on us!

In that moment I  came to a fuller understanding of Christ’s love for His people.

Christ was man and He is God. The best revenge on all who betrayed Him was within His grasp. He could have struck them deaf, blind, and even dead on the spot. If he had raised His eyes to Heaven, the destruction of  Herod’s palace was His for the asking.

Jesus did not walk away. Instead, He chose to suffer. Repaying betrayal with unselfish love was His final lesson as man.

Hearing those words, “On the night He was betrayed,” I came to a fuller understanding of Christ’s love for us all.

The gift of life is ours. It is Christ’s solemn guarantee we are worthy of His love, His sacrifice. Emulating His actions by refusing to engage in revenge and anger towards those who betray us, we give glory to Him.

We too must refrain from anger, hate, and revenge against those who betray us in word and deed. The Eucharist is ours. It is all we truly need.

Copyright 2018 Carol Sbordon Bannon


About Author

Carol Sbordon Bannon is a full-time writer with a degree in elementary education from Worcester State University. She is a substitute teacher and has been a catechist for over thirty years. In addition to A Handshake From Heaven, she is also the coauthor of Our Family's Christmas Elf. She is happily married and currently resides in Concord Township, Ohio.


  1. Michael Carrillo on

    It’s funny how we “hear” things for the first time even though we may have heard the same words over and over for years. Happens to me quite often at Mass. “I don’t remember EVER hearing that reading before.”

    • Thanks Mike – one of my goals to achieve during Lent is to stay focused and present during Mass. Easier said on weekday masses than Sundays – but that is what lent is for!

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