“If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart.”
That was the Gospel Acclamation for today. It came before we read Matthew 11:20-24. Jesus speaks of the towns in which many healings took place. He reproaches them because they did not repent. He compares them to other towns who never knew him, and how they will have a greater fate on judgement day than these.
Today I turn on the television for just a little update on the world and hear of children being killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time….. yet nothing would have told their parents these little ones were in such danger. Oh woe to us indeed Lord, for when crime is so rampant and random that so many little ones are sacrificed, we surely are doing much wrong. Why can’t something be done to stop this senseless violence?
I think back in history over the centuries of violent civilizations that were cruel to many people, murderous and without any compassion or love for others. From the Indians who scalped the settlers to the army who shot innocent – all because of fear. Where is our repentance? The enemy sure knows the sharpest, my useful tool in his toolbox – fear. It turns us against each other. Fear freezes, makes us run or scares us to do nothing.
This pandemic we are in right now – the ups and downs of it and realization its not going to go away in weeks or months but maybe years…. I believe it has changed and will continue to change the way we live. “If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart.” Truly words we need to live by because the only soft place to land is in our Savior’s heart. You Lord will care for our needs even when we don’t know what they are. I know the only way I will hear you is to keep my soul clean, to avoid the hardening by coming to you and repenting of my sins with a daily examination.
Your voice calls us to come close, to stop the fighting, killing of each other in body, in words, in cutting down the human person to be identified as so many other things than our true selves; children of God. For that is the one thing everyone has in common, yet we still divide ourselves in color, creed, religion, race and nature.
Who am I? A child of God. A beloved daughter of the most high God. One who is loved beyond any love anyone has ever known in this world. That love extends to every child, every person born. Why don’t we embrace it instead of separating, dividing and hardening our hearts? Because of sin. Sin brought violence in the world – power, possessions, pleasures. All these are good – but disordered to the point of hardening, believing then we are the god.
I have to remember – hear his voice. Harden not your heart. Seek him in others. Be open to being him for others. Think of what I give as also the receiver. How would I feel? It may not be fair. Most of life isn’t. I just have to look up at the cross. That sums it all up. You did this for me. I deserved nothing but a guilty sentence. Your mercy stepped in for my crimes, my lacking, weaknesses and failure to be who you meant for me to be. Hear my cries of repentance, of laying it all down at your feet. I don’t want to carry any of it. Speak to me Lord, let me hear you; your servant is listening. Speak often for I do not want a hardened heart, but one tender, receptive and waiting for you to take it’s possession.