Daily Reflection
September 13th, 2003
Mike Cherney
Physics Department
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1 Timothy 1:15-17
Psalms 113:1-2, 3-4, 5, 6-7
Luke 6:43-49

 In today's reading from Timothy's letter we are reminded of God's saving grace, the hope for sinners.  In today's Gospel we hear that what we produce is a result of what is in our heart.

With my annual physical coming up it was not difficult to find a contemporary analogy to the fickle followers that Jesus rails against in the Gospel.  Each year I go the doctor.  Each year I am told I need to lose 10 pounds.  Each year I agree and commit myself to a new diet.  Each year the tasks at hand take over and I return to my old habits.  My heart and soul are not in the effort. The fervor does not last.

I would like to say that I have a relation with God where my heart and soul are always part of the process.  I would like to say that this always leads me to make the best choice based on how my heart and soul guide me.  I need to say honestly this is not the case.

I find that in many ways, I relate to God in the same way that my sixteen-year-old relates to me. There is a loving relationship, there is a solid foundation, but some things are the way they are just because we are not ready to give up our independence.  Sometimes we choose to do things the hard way. 

In the Gospel, we hear of the man who builds his house on the loose soil only to see it swept away. The point of the Gospel story is the man does not have the solid foundation on which to build.  I would like to offer a different spin on the story. I can see Jesus lecturing the crowd for having their heart in the wrong place, but for many of us this does not seem to be the problem.  Sometimes we have the solid foundation, but we choose to ignore it. This is not because of evil in our heart, but because of all of the psychological complexities that make us human.  It is here God's grace for sinners becomes apparent.  In the same way, parents do not cast their children aside for not always making the best choice.  Instead we as parents invest the time over the years to see that what really matters becomes second nature to our children.  I trust that my God is sculpting hearts in the same way.

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