By Rev. Junchol Lee
We use a calendar that has 12 months and 365 days in it. As it nears December 31st, we feel as though something is getting close to an end, and yet on January 1st it feels like a new beginning. Our life is composed of many endings and beginnings. We may live one life, but within this one life we have many different journeys.
(References: Habakkuk 3:17)
9311. 'For if you indeed hear his voice' means learning and accepting the commandments of faith. This is clear from the meaning of 'hearing' as learning and accepting, dealt with below; and from the meaning of 'voice' as the commandments of faith, as above in 9307. In the Word 'hearing' means much more than simply hearing with the ear. Besides this it means receiving things in the memory and learning them, also receiving them in the understanding and believing them, and in addition receiving them in obedience and doing them. The reason why all this is meant by 'hearing' is that speech heard by the ear passes on into a person's inner sight, which is the understanding, and so is received within the person. Then what is seen there is either retained, believed, or obeyed, according to how compelling the reasons for it are or else how far the person has been swayed by others. So it is that there is a correspondence of the ear and of hearing with such things in the spiritual world; regarding this, see 4652-4660, 5071, 7216, 8361, 8990.
(References: Arcana Coelestia 5017)
 The fact that 'hearing' means receiving things in the memory and learning them, also receiving them in the understanding and believing them, and in addition receiving them in obedience and doing them, is also evident from the following places: In Matthew,
I speak in parables, because those who see do not see, and those who hear do not hear, nor do they understand, that in them may be fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says, By hearing you will hear and not understand, and seeing you will see and not discern. This people's heart has become gross, and with ears they have heard in a dull manner, and their eyes they have closed, lest perhaps they see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and with their heart understand. Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Many prophets and righteous people desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it. Matthew 13:12-17.
In this passage the word 'hear' is used with all its meanings; it stands both for learning and for believing, as well as for obeying. 'Those who hear do not hear' stands for being taught things and yet not believing them, also for learning them and not obeying them. 'With ears they have heard in a dull manner' stands for refusing to learn, believe, and obey. 'Blessed are your ears, for they hear' stands for the blessedness that comes as a result of accepting the teachings of faith which concern the Lord and are received through the Word from the Lord.
(References: Matthew 13:13-17)
 In John,
He who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep; the sheep hear His voice. Those who were before Me were thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not hear them. Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:2-3, 8, 16, 27.
'Hearing His voice' stands for learning the commandments of faith and accepting them in faith and obedience. The same things are meant by the words the Lord used so many times, He who has an ear to hear, let him hear, Matthew 11:15; 13:9, 43; Mark 4:9, 23; 7:16; Luke 8:8; 14:35.
 The same are also meant in the following places: In Matthew,
Behold, a voice from the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son; hear Him. Matthew 17:5.
He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. John 3:29.
In the same gospel,
Truly I say to you, that the hour will come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. John 5:25.
'The dead' stands for those who do not as yet have spiritual life owing to lack of knowledge of the truth of faith; 'hearing the voice of the Son of God' stands for learning the truths of faith and obeying them; 'living' stands for being endowed with spiritual life through those truths.
 In the same gospel,
He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God. John 8:47.
In the same gospel,
Jesus said, Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. John 18:37.
Abraham said to the rich man, They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them. Luke 16:29.
They said about Jesus, He has done all things well, for He makes the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak. Mark 7:37.
'The deaf' stands for those who have no knowledge of the truths of faith and therefore are unable to live in accordance with them, see 6989. 'Hearing' stands for learning, accepting, and obeying them. In John,
When the Spirit of Truth comes He will guide you into all truth; He will not speak from Himself, but whatever He hears He will speak. He will receive from what is Mine. John 16:13-14.
'Whatever He hears' stands for whatever He receives from the Lord. In Matthew,
Everyone who hears My words and does them I will liken to a wise man. But everyone hearing My words yet not doing them will be likened to a foolish man. Matthew 7:24, 26.
And in Luke,
Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show [you] whom he is like. Luke 6:47.
'Hearing His words' and 'hearing His sayings' stand for learning and knowing the commandments of faith which come from the Lord; 'doing' stands for living in accordance with them.
(References: John 11:37)