Daily Reflection
March 11th, 1999
Larry Gillick, S.J.
The Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Jeremiah 7:23-28
Luke 11:14-23

We hear the voice of God speaking to God's beloved people, in today's first reading from the Roman Catholic Liturgy.  It is the ancient call of God to "listen to My voice, then I will be your God  and you shall be My people."

This opening verse is followed by words of disappointment.  God laments at the refusal of the people of Israel to act according to their God-given identity.

Then God tells Jeremiah that the people will not listen to him either for even the word "faithfulness" has been banished from their speech.

We see Jesus casting out a demon from a person who is mute.  This gesture is meant to be a confirmation that Jesus is a prophet to be listened to and accepted.  Some people are impressed and amazed, but there are others who accuse Him as coming from the devil.  There ensues a courtroom scene in which Jesus confronts His accusers.

The readings today present us with our resistance to hearing the voice of God and our failures in seeing God's good works in our lives.  We have our arguments and our own questions about things which have and are happening in our lives.

Jesus made gestures to invite a faithful response from those who could perceive His actions.  The response to Him had to be free and so Jesus allows His actions to stand by themselves.   "Take it or leave it, or, take them and believe in Me.

Today we are invited to pray with the Lenten-theme of call and response.  God reverences our freedom in such a way that God has come and always comes close enough for us to believe, but not so close that we are forced to believe.  We hear God's ancient call to us to trust what we hear and have "faithfulness" as a word bountiful in our speech and actions.

It is mid-Lent and the call of God continues.  The final words of today's gospel linger and echo throughout the church building and the church's body, the person who is not with Jesus is against Him, and those who do not gather with Him, scatter.  Lord, help us to listen to Your call, watch Your gestures and help You gather so that You will be our God and we will be Your people.


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