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Suffocating Jesus’ voice

Old rowboat on the lake at sunset

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Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 01/19/23

He struggles to instill in his disciples - in us - a new wisdom.

Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

As Jesus preaches and performs miracles, his fame grows dramatically. This seems to be a good thing, but Jesus knows well that people are following him because of their thirst for the sensational.

The new wisdom that He struggles to instill in his disciples is still somewhat alien to them. It is the wisdom of the Cross, the wisdom that understands weakness no longer as a problem, but as the way to salvation. It is wisdom that wins by losing, that loves without measure, that forgives those who kill you. It is the wisdom that leads you not to the sensational, but to the essential. 

It will take some time before the disciples (and then Christians of all ages) fully understand this message. Perhaps we seek Jesus because we want him to solve some problem for us –and not to learn how to deal with them. We cannot learn this lesson without living a spiritual life. 

A spiritual life begins by making room so that we do not suffocate Jesus’ voice with the thousand things we do, so that he can finally speak to us. It is a space in which we stop talking and let Him speak. Only then can we understand the request that He makes to his disciples in today’s Gospel: “He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him.”

True spiritual life doesn’t need much time, or many things. Even a little time is enough. The important thing is that we defend it with all we’ve got.


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

DiscipleshipGospelLiturgyMassPrayerSpiritual Life
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