January 12, 2017 – Thursday in the 1st Week of the Church Year

 

Saint for the day: Marguerite Bourgeoys (1620 – 1700)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Hebrews 3:7-14    –    Psalm 95    –    Mark 1:40-45

“If today your hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Today’s ‘Responsorial Verse.)

 What is a “hardened Heart?” And in what ways do we not hear His voice? In the Ot the Prophet says, “I will take from you your stony hearts and give you hearts of flesh.” A totally “Hardened Heart” is the end of life as we know it. Fleshy hearts are full of – and the reason we have – life. It’s back to basics: there is something within us that needs to change. It’s not enough for the leper to be healed on the outside, he must also be changed within. The problem – or dilemma – then is: how “fleshy” must our hearts be? How many saints reportedly died when their hearts burst? There would appear that their hearts kept expanding as they loved more the work they were doing. It’s quite the opposite of the person who shrivels up and becomes hardened – angry at the world & God for one reason or another. The process of changing from a “hardened way of living” to a “fleshly pursuit of God” must be gradual. The leper was healed instantaneously but that healing needed to be incorporated deep in his life or he would still die of a hardened heart. Sticking with the “ocean theme” of yesterday and reflecting how gently God tries to keep our shores clean by sending in gentle waves that caress the sands – four times each day – in an attempt at keeping our shores pristine. I see something of the timeliness of God: every day trying to clean up what somebody else has messed up. Geez… people! Meet me halfway. How willing are we to ask God to heal us? Do we just want the outside to look good or are we willing to let God gently transform us- wave by wave, little by little – until our hearts are softened and we are rally living. Amen!

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