Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Stiff Necked People.

This morning I shared with one of our teenage daughters the first reading from today's Mass.   I asked her, without telling her the answer, when do you think this was written?  She said, "I don't know.  It could have been yesterday."   She's right.   It's an accurate description of what it means to be human isn't it?  Even today we are a stiff necked people that don't like to listen.   In the garden of Eden there was only one rule.  Don't eat that tree.... and guess what?  We did.   Then the Israelites have 613 rules.   Guess what?  They broke them. The comes along Jesus who boils it all down to two... love God and your neighbor... and what do we do?   We break it.  Every day.  It only takes a minute of watching the news to see that we too have 'done worse than our fathers.'  

Too many don't understand the fact that we are in a spiritual war.   The scriptures remind us that we are constantly under attack from the evil one.   That we need to put on the armor of God and be ready for battle.  Too many don't take that seriously.  Either they don't believe in demons, or they are so scared of them that they refuse to do anything.   The reality is, we don't have anything to be scared of... but we shouldn't take it lightly either.   Jesus is the stronger man who has unarmed the enemy.   It is so important then that we find ourselves on his side, joining forces with God and not with other things.

Are we listening?  Or are we just going about our lives in our own way.   My daughter is angry with me right now because I won't let her buy Moana.   I told her I didn't want her to see it yet.  Maybe when she is older.   Sure, it's probably harmless right?  The thing is our kids are impressionable.   What they see from us, what they see on TV, what they see from their friends... it all goes into that beautiful brain of theirs and gets ruminated on...   I want her to grow into someone strong in their faith.. not influenced by other ideas of who God is or how the universe was made...  Reason, intellect, math, science... all things I am OK with her seeing.  Those aren't at odds with my faith.   When it comes to faith though?   I want her to know what it means to be Catholic, what it means to be Christian, and above all what it means to be in such an intimate relationship with God that He places Himself into the most defenseless form possible... a wafer of bread that we might let Him enter us  completely.

In the first reading Jeremiah says that the people are so faithless that the word faith doesn't even exist in their vocabulary anymore.  Are we headed there as a nation?   Already religion has been relegated to something that only happens behind closed doors.   The government is seen as the source of philanthropy and the ones relied on knowing who needs what, and who doesn't... and faith?  That's just something you do while singing and worshiping together.  I want my daughters to not only have faith as part of her vocabulary, but part of who she is.   To know that being Catholic means in every facet of your life.. even what you watch, listen to, or say.... Above all I want her to learn to hear His voice.. and to not harden her heart with other things, but to be ready to obey the voice of the Lord and allow Him to lead her in the discernment of her vocation in life.
His servant and yours,
Brian Mullins

"He must increase, I must decrease."

A reflection on the readings for Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time:  March 23, 2017