March 12, 2015 Jeremiah 7:23-28; Luke 11:14-23
Guest: SM Albertine Stachowski, CSSF
As we read scripture … we realize that throughout history … there are persons that could be said to have hard hearts. The Pharisees … sometimes the Israelites … Pharaoh … to point out a few. According to the Bible, hardness of heart often displays itself as a rejection of God’s word.
In today’s first reading … God promises prosperity to His people … if they listen and obey. God says … I will be your God … you will be my people. It sounds so simple.
The problem is … they reject that message … their hearts are hardened causing them to resist and be blind to the opportunities God presents to them.
The people in the Gospel are like that too! They have Jesus among them … yet their hardness of heart blinds them to the miracles and signs Jesus is working. They are amazed … but it is not enough for them … they refuse to have faith and trust and reject what they are seeing and experiencing.
Gospel Lk 11:14-23
Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute,
and when the demon had gone out,
the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed.
Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons.”
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself,
how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
These readings are cause for us to pause and ponder our own faith and trust. They are reasons for us to look within and determine just how hard our own hearts might be.
As we move through this third week of Lent … these readings call us to refocus our sight … to open our hearts … to refocus our vision … and see the graces and opportunities that are all around us. Both of today’s readings urge us to be attentive to God.
Today’s responsorial psalm is an easy one to remember and repeat throughout the day. It can be a guide to being attentive to God as we move through our day.
Let us pray for one another that each one of us will “… hear His voice and harden not our hearts.”