- A summary of last week's homily is in the library ->
- The scriptures for this coming Sunday are at usccb.org ->
- I will be preaching at the Sunday, Dec.12th 9:30am Mass
Be strong, fear not! Here is your God!
Hardening of hearts is a definite danger throughout the history of God's people in the Old Testament. It is exile....to be carried off apart from God. In fact, Jesus has come precisely to soften hearts and his tactic is to "be here". Emmanuel is the Advent word that is translated to "God-with-us". The predicament of the human condition is that we have hardened our hearts so much so that we are not "here" where God dwells. Our hearts are hardened in another place and time - where God is not.
The heart, as I have been preaching this Advent, is the center of our faith life, it is the object of God's desire. God wants "all" of us - he wants our heart where He is. Last week I spoke about the possibility of our "setting our hearts", onto the Kingdom of God. But we have to do it here where God is.
This week I am reflecting upon our hardness of heart, our teflon hearts, our hearts hardened and separated from "here". In that condition they cannot grasp the presence of God which is "here". When the heart is hardened the eyes are turned backward and forward, the mind is resistent to what's real. Hardened hearts cannot "feel" or "perceive" what is, they are stuck in what was or what isn't yet. And God is not in either of those places. That hardness feels....sad.
Gaudete Sunday calls us to rejoice, give up this sadness, the gloom of a prison that hardness of heart is. Come alive to what is ....and what is is the Lord is near, the Lord is now, the Lord is here. This living in here and now is not something we should think about doing, it is now!
Jesus said and says, "no, God dwells here and now and we have got to come alive to what is. God is real and God is reaching out to us. Make "firm" (not hard) your hearts by grasping God present here, now.