". . . When you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts . . ."
Am I paying attention? Am I listening to God?
Today's readings speak of a connection between listening to God and the condition of my heart.
Am I moved by pity, by joy or sorrow, or by the wonder of creation? Do I wish to express my love? Do I want to help those who need help? If these stirrings are in my heart, then God is talking to me. And if God is talking to me, a response is called for. That's why they call it responsibility.
The reality is that I am perfectly capable of "hardening my heart."
The noise of the world sometimes makes it difficult to hear God. My job, my family, all of the interesting and alluring things around me clamor for attention. No wonder I need retreats.
In today's Gospel, Jesus asks the man cured of leprosy to be quiet about it. The man won't or can't hear Jesus' request. He does exactly the opposite of what Jesus asks. I place myself in the cured man's situation: I have been given this incredible gift, this miraculous cure. How can I possibly keep my mouth shut about it? It would drive me nuts to be silent about it. Why? Because it is all about me. When I am intent on me, focused on my own wants, needs, joys, sorrows -- all my busy stuff -- I do not hear God. It is a hard-hearted way to live.
This Christian life we have chosen is demanding. Sometimes it is easier to pretend that we don't hear. I know when my heart is going astray, and sometimes I just let it go -- I am too lazy, sometimes. But I know that my laziness thwarts God's plan for me. My prayer today is that God will help me be attentive to life, to listen, to live in a mindful way.
In a scattered, confusing, sometimes frightening world, only the heart, the place where I hear God, is true.
Am I paying attention?
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