Daily Reflection – Mar 3, 2016
Thursday 3 March 2016
First Reading: Jeremiah 7:23-28
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts
Psalm 94(95):1-2, 6-9
Gospel Reading: Luke 11:14-23
Today’s Note: Thursday of the Third Week of Lent
Today’s Saint: Saint Katharine Drexel, Virgin (Optional Memorial)
Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute,
and when the demon had gone out,
the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed.
Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons.”
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself,
how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
Walk in all the ways that I command you. (Jeremiah 7:23)
Would you ever choose to be mute or deaf? It’s a silly question, isn’t it? No one would actually choose to live with disabilities like these. Yet in today’s readings, we read about people who have chosen to be deaf to God’s voice and to remain silent instead of sharing his truth.
In the first reading, Jeremiah complains that people are intentionally being deaf to the Lord and the prophets. “They obeyed not, nor did they pay heed” (Jeremiah 7:24). In the Gospel, Jesus heals someone who is mute. So far so good. But instead of rejoicing, the people who witness this healing refuse to admit that something special has happened. They remain mute about it and instead use their mouths to accuse Jesus of being in league with the devil.
We may find ourselves in these readings—but not necessarily because we have chosen to ignore the Lord. We may lack confidence or face barriers that keep us from hearing his voice or sharing his goodness. “Why would Jesus want to speak to me?” we think. Or “I’m too scared to talk about the Lord.”
How can we overcome these spiritual handicaps? Jeremiah offers one answer: “Walk in all the ways that I command you” (Jeremiah 7:23). And Jesus tells us, “Whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Luke 11:23). In other words, if you want to hear the Lord, try to obey his commands and make it a point to “gather” with him and his people at Mass. Let the readings sink into your heart. Carefully follow the words of the Eucharistic Prayer. When you receive Communion, ask him to open your ears and your mouth just a little bit more. And when you “go in peace,” resolve to cooperate with him as best you can.
You don’t have to “feel” anything at first—and quite possibly you may not. But if you are faithful over time, you will begin to recognize God’s voice in your day. You’ll begin to see his presence in the people around you. And seeing and hearing, you won’t be able to keep quiet. You’ll want to tell people about the revolution that Jesus has begun in you!
“Lord, I want to hear your voice and speak your praises. Help me to be faithful to you so that my ears and mouth will be opened more and more!”