To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
There is a woman theologian by the name of Elizabeth Johnson, who describes the “unclean spirit” in today’s gospel as, “the hardening of the mind against unwanted wisdom”.
She says that is what happens when our certainties and securities are so threatened that we DO NOT want the kinds of “unwanted insights” that rock our boats.
You have to wonder if such a mindset is behind the lack of respect and civility we see so much of these days in politics, business, religion… life?
One might rightly discern that the only remedy for this kind of hardening of hearts is a true conversion of hearts.
Today’s Responsorial Psalm says it well, “If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts!”
Our Scriptures direct us to ask the question, “where might our heart be closed to others, to God? Where might our hearts be closed to the wisdom of others, of God?”
Today’s Scriptures are calling us to greater love, to a deeper love of God and others… a love that does not dismiss implicitly or explicitly, but to a love that invites “coming together.”
A love that invites us to “grow in love of God and others together.”
A love that invites us to continue the work of being and becoming authentic disciples of Jesus Christ today and everyday.
A love that invites us to OPEN our hearts and minds and lives to the Spirit of God within us and to the Voice of God that can speak to us in so many ways and through so many people
A love that invites us to be authentic disciples who do not dismiss, but discern that Voice of God that speaks to us today and into the future. This Voice of God that is concerned about his people wherever they are, wherever they work and live, wherever the cry of the poor and needy resonates.
If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts. May we respond to that Voice of God with lives filled with justice, empathy, compassion, respect and love!