Oh, that today you would hear his voice: “Harden not your hearts”!


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If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts (see Ps 95:7-8).

We can have hardening of our hearts for years, even for generations. For centuries, we can ignore God and become progressively worse than our fathers, who were worse than their fathers and grandfathers. The hardening of hearts can be chosen not only by individuals but by nations (see Jer 7:28). Hard and hardening hearts can be generational, epidemic, deteriorating, and international. They can become so hard that we kill God’s prophets, forget that there is faithfulness, accuse Jesus of working for the devil, become pawns of the devil, kill millions of babies in the womb, constantly watch sin on TV for entertainment, never bother to read the Bible, rebel against God’s Church, and be involved in other related perversions, self-deceptions, and atrocities.

As we near the middle of Lent, we should strive to be concerned with using prayer, fasting and almsgiving to open our eyes, ears and hearts to the prompting of our Lord. We need to quiet this noisy self-serving world, so that we will be able to follow our Lord–not question Him or test Him.

Lent is a privileged time for listening to the voice of God. Jesus is our model.  After his baptism by John the Baptist at the River Jordan, Jesus withdrew to pray. During his prayer Luke tells us that the skies opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove and a voice from heaven was heard, “You are my beloved son; on you my favor rests.” 

 Like Jesus we must find our own “desert place” where we can listen to God without distraction — without the noise of cell phones and iPads.  In Lent we set aside extra  times to go to our “desert place” — whether it be in church or in nature or in the quiet of our homes — to listen for God’s voice in the silence and solitude of prayer.  How is God calling us this year to turn away from selfishness and sin? How is God calling us to serve the Kingdom in new ways?

I harden my heart to so much that I hear and see these days. God calls us to be in solidarity with those who suffer, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the world’s problems. Do I give my full attention to the needs of others, both near and far away? Or do I follow my own stubborn inclinations? Do I listen to the prophetic voices in our community? Am I moving forwards in my faith?

Let us not get distracted by those who choose to follow the path of ruin, for the Lord truly can see into our hearts and will overpower the devil if we but ask. As we heard in the reading from the Prophet Jeremiah: “listen to my voice (says the Lord) then I will be your God and you shall be my people.” (Jeremiah 7:23)
Then we can speak and act as the Lord alone desires.

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

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