By Ken Rolheiser
A chap was walking about in a field looking through the grass. “What are you looking for?” a stranger asked. “I’m looking for my ear.” The stranger started looking and suddenly picked something up saying, “What’s this ‘ere? The chap looked at it, shook his head, “Can’t be mine. Mine had a pencil behind it.”
There is a story told of a place in heaven where there was a field of ears. Asked about the significance, the explanation was that these were the ones who only heard the Word and did nothing else. Matthew 11:15 tells us, “He who has ears, let him hear.” But it takes an open heart for the Word to bear fruit.
In “Infinity in a Jar” Father Brendan McGuire shares this comparison: “I have a small jar here and I ask you, ‘Can this little jar hold a great amount?’ Depends what you are going to put in it. Yeah. But it also depends if you open it. Right? If it is closed, it is not going to hold very much…
“One could say that when it is closed, the amount of air that is in it is finite. But when I open it, one could say that the air that is in it is infinite because the air is going in and through it and one could say the same of droplets of water.
“We could put water in it and then close it and that is all it will ever hold. But if one keeps it open, the water can keep flowing in and out of it and thus could really hold infinity.”
McGuire goes on with the illustration that when Mary opened her heart to let the Divine enter, the greatest possibility happened. God, who was all divine, great, all powerful could be born in a woman “so finite, so small." All this because Mary allowed herself to be open to the Spirit.
If we open our hearts to hearing God’s word, the infinite is possible. But first we must hear! Imagine being deprived of hearing. What a wonderful event to hear again. Yet so many do not listen for the word that gives life
On Christmas morning one who had hardened his heart and shut out all the goodness heard what he called the “sweetest sound” to his ears. Scrooge, who had had a close brush with death and damnation, heard, "Good morning, sir! A Merry Christmas to you!".
What a great privilege to hear the word of God! What a blessing to keep it in memory. “Happier those who hear the word of God and keep it.” Luke 11:28
While Jesus was in her womb, Mary never forgot the precious load that she was carrying. You and I have the same God that Mary carried in her womb in our hearts . We too carry him, He who is the Redeemer of all mankind, just like Mary did.
If our hearts are open, the spirit of love can flow through us. Jesus can be at home in us until that day when we awake to his eternal presence.