Homily for March 3, 2016. Thursday of the Third Week of Lent)
Bible Study: Jeremiah 7, 23 to 28. Luke 11, 14 to 23.
A person whose heart is hardened is one who is beyond persuasion. There is nothing you would tell him or her that will can change their convictions. Even when you perform a miracle in their presence, they will not believe. Their minds are made up already. Preaching to such persons is like trying to pass water through a brick wall. This was exactly the experience of Jesus in today’s Gospel passage.
Before their very eyes, Jesus cast out a demon from a dumb man and suddenly the man started talking again, yet instead of them to believe in Jesus, they said he was acting through the power of Beelzebub. In other words, they were accusing Jesus of being the devil himself.
Jeremiah was also faced with such. In his best effort to warn the people of Israel of the impending exile, he was totally frustrated by their hardness of heart. “But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.” Jeremiah 7, 24.
What kind of heart do you have? Are you still convinced that God loves and cares for you dearly despite your present challenges in life? Do you still believe in miracles or are you convinced that there is surely an explanation for everything? Have you reached a point when nothing touches your heart anymore? Have you experienced scandal in the past such that you no longer believe there are still authentic ministers of God out there? Have you stopped going to Church or stopped praying entirely? These are signs of a hardened heart.
To have such a heart is to doubt everything about God. It is coming to Church to worship with suspicion, criticism and anger. Nothing of God’s words gets to you, instead you dissect and analyse the preacher himself, you see everyone in church as an hypocrite and you go home further determined to remain in your old ways.
The only way out of a hardened heart is to start believing God again as you did when you were a child, still innocent and fragile. No wonder Jesus recommends that we must be childlike if we must ever enter the kingdom of God. (Read Luke 18, 17 and Mark 10, 15.)
Let us Pray:
Lord Jesus, open my heart to receive you once again. Take out of it the bitterness of the past that I may not doubt you ever again. Amen.
God bless you. Good morning. Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you.