Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Do You Have a Heart Condition?

Heart Disease is a broad term used to describe a range of diseases that affect the heart.  It’s also a leading cause of death in this country.   The psalm for today speaks of another type of heart ailment that is a leading cause of spiritual death:  the hardened heart.  The psalm exhorts us: “If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts”.   When is the last time you had a checkup; a spiritual cardiogram?   Do you know the condition of your heart?

Like Moses, God calls us to be prophets who not only speak, but live, his message of truth, love and salvation.   He calls us to “adhere” to his will “without distraction” (1 Corinthians 7:35).  But you have to have the heart for such a mission.  When we discover that our hearts are not right; that there are spiritual abnormalities or irregularities present, then we must be willing to undergo emergency surgery at the hands of the most gifted Surgeon.  His hospital may be the Mass, the confessional,  a session with your spiritual director, or your prayer corner at home.  His scalpel is a double-edged sword and the Surgeon is the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).   We must “lie on the table” as it were, in a position of trusting surrender and take his Word to heart.  It will change us, heal us, deliver us and prepare us if we let it.   This surgery is to re-shape our hearts to be more like the heart of Jesus.

Jesus’ heart was anything but hardened when it came to his relationship to his heavenly Father.  This is why God’s work through him was so effective, powerful and unmistakable.  “What is this…? He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him!” the people exclaimed (Mark 1:27).    God’s work in and through us, as members of the Church, can be no less powerful and effective if our ears are attuned to his voice and our hearts are receptive to his will.   “I tell you most solemnly, whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, and he will perform even greater works…” (John 14:12).  This is to me, one the most astonishing verses in the New Testament: that we could perform even greater works than Jesus did!   Jesus knows his Daddy pretty well!   God can even outdo himself in someone with a willing heart.   Is this you?  Are you that someone?  How’s your heart?

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