Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
March 11th, 2010

Mary Haynes Kuhlman

Theology Department
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Thursday of the Third Week in Lent
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.”  Today’s Psalm refrain is haunting, but what does it mean for us?   Would we really “harden” our hearts, and not listen to God?   Or is it true that not listening and not acting on what the “voice” says is what actually happens in the heat and hurry of our everyday lives?

 In today’s first reading Jeremiah says the Lord has said “Listen to my voice,” but people don’t listen.  With all the distractions from our technologies, diversions, responsibilities and escapes, we don’t have enough time or focus to even think of God.  We don’t stop to praise or thank God in the good moments, and when we mutter “Lord, help me!” or “God, why me?” when bad things happen, too often we’re still not listening.  Just when we need to be open-hearted, willing to listen, our world-worn hearts are crusted over and untouchable – hard!   

In the Gospel Jesus knows people around him are not “listening” to what it means that he can drive out demons and free a man from his disability.  He says “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” What I notice is that it’s not enough to passively have faith / be baptized / call myself Christian.  We not only “are,” we “do.”   The faith, the baptism, the being Christian has to be active, and acted upon – and that means daily, in each day.  Now.

We’re not always and everywhere hard-hearted.  Love of God and Love of Neighbor keep showing up in our human lives.   For example, I’ve been “heartened” by the response from all over the United States and from many other nations to the situation in Haiti after the recent massive earthquake. With news broadcasts of the catastrophic damage were also reminders of how our government and service agencies, and teams from other nations were responding, and how individuals could at least contribute some money.  Creighton University was especially fortunate in already having programs on the island; thus Creighton was able to get a series of medical personnel teams and supplies almost immediately to an area of great chaos and devastation.  Meanwhile, fundraising results were “heartening,” as so many people wanted to do something to support the ongoing work among the collapsed buildings, the survivors and the thousands of seriously injured.  In Haiti and every other nation, there is never a lack of need and never can all needs be met.  Yet humans are sometimes surprisingly generous, whether supporting the bake sale or benefit dinner, snowplowing a neighbor’s driveway, or mailing checks to fund drives and agency appeals. 
Yet I am truly haunted by the last line in this Gospel passage:  “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”  As readers of this Reflection, you’re trying to listen to His Voice.  Meanwhile, let me tell you, I’m on my slightly arthritic or comfortably metaphoric knees praying for today:  “Lord, keep me from Scattering.  Let whatever I do today Gather with You.”

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