Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 395

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

When someone asked Jesus what is the most important law, he recited the Shema, "The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone!"

Our life as Christians begins with Listening to the Lord. It's not listen, stop listening and then act. It's listening even as we act. 

Had Abraham not been continually listening for the Voice of God he would have murdered his son Isaac. He tied the boy up and laid him on a make-shift altar, with dry wood and a burning torch close at hand; he had his knife raised when God shattered the silence again with, "Abraham, Abraham!" 

Today's reading from Micah begins the same way, Hear what the LORD says! 

How hard it is to hear God's voice amid the cacophony of other sounds. We might prefer to hear nothing at all, and wish that God would speak only in silence. But when fifty men and women are murdered in Orlando, Florida, we have to hear their cries as well. Among them must be the voice of God. 

In such moments God will demand of us a change of heart; that is to say, of attitudes, habits and practices; of how we regard and deal with one another. Mass murder cannot happen in a nation founded on principles of justice and mercy. It can only occur where people despise one another. There can be no freedom where people believe they must own weapons to protect their freedom. That horse escaped the barn a long time ago. 

God's voice, to those who listen, is both challenging and reassuring. "You can do this because I will be with you. You have nothing to fear. Do not be afraid. 

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.