Deut 6:4-13 / Matthew 17:14-20
Deuteronomy 6:4 begins like this: Listen, O Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength.
That exhortation is also called "The Shema". It is almost equivalent to our prayer of the "Our Father".
"Shema" means "listen". It calls for every Jew to listen to God and to love Him totally.
The aspect of listening is important not just for interpersonal relationships but also in management skills.
Because it is with good listening skills that productivity and efficiency can be achieved.
But what is important for us is that "The Shema" reminds us that listening is necessary in order to be loving.
When we really listen to someone, we will begin to feel with that person, we begin to understand that person deeper, and that would also lead us to love that person.
Similarly, when we take time out to enter into the prayer of listening in silence, we enter into the prayer of love.
It is only when we are silent, then we are ready to listen, then we are ready to love.