One of the joys of Ignatian prayer is the invitation to use our imaginations–to experience the sights, smells, tastes, tactility, and sounds of Jesus’ world. We can see the paralytic rise from his mat, and we can feel Jesus’ cloak as the woman with hemorrhages reaches out to touch it. We can imagine the taste of the bread and wine used during the last supper, or the sound of a hammer driving nails into wood.

What does the voice of Jesus sound like? When do you most clearly hear it? Is it a human voice, one that speaks to you in words and phrases? Or, is it a metaphorical sound, a movement in the world around you? A recognition of light, beauty, goodness, and hope offered by a God who loves you? Something else?

In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us that his sheep hear his voice, and in another passage, that those who have ears must hear. In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we receive the name of Christians. Let us remember that a Christian is one who listens for the voice of the good shepherd. In listening, we hear the voice of a friend —the call of Christ.

—Eric Immel, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Wisconsin Province is studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.