Good morning good people,
May the Lord grant you grace and peace in the Holy Spirit. It is on 16th March 2023.
We reflect on Jeremiah 7:23-28 and Luke 11:14-23.
Are we with God or against God?
Anthony de Mello shares a story in his book named Awareness. A woman suddenly stops a man walking down the street and says: “Henry, I am so happy to see you after all these years! How have you been? You were so tall, and you have grown so short. You were so well built, and you have grown so thin. You were so fair, and you have become so dark. Good, grief how you have changed in five years! What happened to you, Henry?” Finally, the man got a chance to interject: “But ma’am, my name is not Henry! My name is John.” To which the persistent woman calmly responded: “Oh, so you changed your name too!”
Closed hearts criticize while open hearts compliment.
Listening is the ultimate expression of love. Happiness is enveloped in total listening. Every learning comes by listening and that is why God has blessed us with two ears and one mouth. Turning our backs, and closing our hearts are possible signs we do not listen anymore. It is by unbiased listening; we discern the will and plan of God for our lives. Lent is the time to listen. Listening to God’s Word, the cry of our being and the cry of the poor around. Paul Tillich remarks, “The first duty of love is to listen.”
When we are not willing to believe in Jesus, we are against God. His Holiness Pope Francis encourages us: “The Lord always speaks to us this way with fatherly tenderness he tells us: return to me with all your heart, for I am merciful and compassionate”.
Stubbornness is a refusal to acknowledge the goodness in God and others. Blaming is the blanket most of us are covering and hiding our failures in life. Our faithfulness solely depends on our total listening. In the first reading, the prophet Jeremiah demands faithfulness from the stiff-necked people of Israel. Faithfulness implies that be the person you are supposed to be.
The responsorial Psalm intercedes, “If today you would listen to his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Ps.95:7,8)
Jesus gets the force of criticism for casting out the devil and demonstrating the authority of God. Jesus encounters three types of people after performing miracles. The Admirers, the Accusers, and the miracle-seekers.
Half-hearted faithfulness is so dangerous for integral spiritual growth. Either we are with Jesus fully, or against Him. Jesus is looking for faithful followers. When we have hardened our hearts, we do not notice any goodness in others.
There is a close connection between unfaithfulness and a tendency to unleash uncharitable accusations or criticism on others.
Let us listen more and talk less. Let us ask the Lord for the grace of faithfulness. May you have a day full of blessings.