Sh’ma Israel

Sh’ma= Obey

We novices had an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the Sh’ma with Sr. Anne Catherine. She showed us the importance of the Sh’ma in religious life. She led us in a reflection on both the call of God in the “Sh’ma, Israel …” and the invitation to live God’s call to listen, in our own lives.

Sh’ma invites us into the experience of listening deeply to the voice of God that reveals what we can do to build peace in the world. The commitment to live the Sh’ma enables us to affirm that God exists and to obey God’s call to live in charity/love like brothers and sisters. In the spirit of Sh’ma, we hear more with the heart than with the ear. Sh’ma enables us “to hear the word of God and keep it” in our hearts.

The verb, “Sh’ma,” is often used in the Scriptures with the meaning of “obey.” In fact it means much more than just listening with the ear. The combination, “hear and do,” is well known; we find it, for example, in Ex: 24: 7, “we well do and we will hear the word.” “Shema” often appears with other verbs like “study/learn,” as in Dt. 5:1.

In religious life, it is essential to live the Sh’ma, because this enables us to listen to the voice of God that speaks to us also through our superiors, or sisters in leadership in the community.

In fact, “to keep” the word consists in allowing it to penetrate to the very heart of my life, and to take time to let it mature, like a living seed preparing tender little shoots and will emerge from the earth and finally bear fruit. How many biblical persons provide examples of hearing the Word of God and expressing it in their lives in doing good.

written by Rozeni