Thursday of the 3rd Week of Lent
March 11, 2021
Jeremiah 7:23-28; Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9; Luke 11:14-23
If today you hear his voice harden not your hearts. Our hearts are hard because of sin. Sin is a weakness, it is not a power. But sin can have power over us when we allow it to enter into our hearts.
Sin enters us in so many different ways. Through our unwillingness to forgive others, through our refusal to accept ALL of the teachings of the Church and our bishops, through materialism, through thoughts that we are somehow better than others because of our personal piety.
But all God wants is our hearts. The Lord says in Hosea chapter 6, “I want a loving heart more than sacrifice, knowledge of my ways more than holocaust.” But Satan’s plan since the beginning has been to turn our hearts and our consciences, our minds and our wills, away from God.
Satan says in the garden, did God say you shall not eat of any tree in the garden? He wants us to question God’s authority, which leads to the next logical conclusion that we don’t need God. Why? Because we want to be our our own gods. So many prefer that their own will be done, rather than the will of God.
What does the voice of evil sound like today? It says things such as “I don’t need to follow what the Church says about difficult moral issues, or about marriage and gender or any other thing that the church teaches in matters of faith and morals. The Church should conform to my way of thinking, or to the modern way of thinking and understanding. It needs to “get with the times.”
But the Lord says to the prophet Jeremiah listen to MY voice and I will be your God and you shall be my people. Walk in the ways that I command you so that you may prosper.
We indeed live in a world of shadows, in a world consumed by a darkness whose far-reaching shadows are cast across our lives and the lives of our families and friends. Our only hope for salvation is in God’s infinite mercy and love, whose light shines brightly in our darkness.
The encounter with Christ changes everything. If we do not stand with Christ, whose voice comes to us today through his Church and the Sacred Scriptures, then we are against him.
By ordering our lives according to the beauty and truth of our Catholic faith, let us bear witness in a convincing manner to the victory of God’s love over the power of evil in ourselves and in the world.
Let us go forth from this Mass today to shine as lights in a dark world under the influence of sin. May our genuine faith and humility, lived out in every aspect of our lives, embolden us to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to build up God’s kingdom here on earth.
God bless you.