Thursday, July 26, 2012

See What You See, Hear What You Hear

See What You See, Hear What You Hear

July 26, 2012
Memorial of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Be amazed at this, O heavens, and shudder with sheer horror, says the LORD.  Two evils have my people done: they have forsaken me, the source of living waters; They have dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that hold no water.  Jeremiah  2:12-13

"But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.  Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."  Matthew 13:16-17


Father, help me to hear and understand your message to me today -- not just with my ears and my mind -- but also with my heart. 


Part of my study is to understand the message and the another part is to understand what to do about it.  Despite the fact that the first reading was offered to the people of Israel more than 2,500 years ago, he stills rings true for us on three levels -- what it says about how we live today, what it means symbolically and why it matters.
Just like the crowds addressed by the prophet Jeremiah, we have dug ourselves into two holes.  First, we turn away from the relationship that Jesus wants to have with us individually.  Second, we dig ourselves a broken cistern when we turn to excessive use of alcohol, food, material possessions, the Internet, television, sports, and other narcotics of modern society to dull our senses and retreat into our personal comfort zone. 


The message is hard enough to comprehend as we sit on our sofas with our popcorn.  But, that is the other part.  Once we understand that this message applies to us, we have to do something about it.  We do not want to take up the challenge of preaching this difficult message to those around us.  Yet we have to "cry out this message" for Fairfax to hear, and Alexandria and Arlington and Silver Spring and Columbia, SC, and Pittsburgh, PA, and Middletown, NJ, and every place in between and beyond. 
Only when we listen to the message and instill these words in our hearts can we avoid the temptation to rationalize our behavior away and return to our televisions and our popcorn and our baseball game.  Instead, we must internalize the relationship with the Lord, take the message to heart and share it with others.  
Why does it all matter?  Because we never know when it will all end.  None of us know the day or time or way that we will be called to account for how we helped to build the Kingdom.  Let's not delay.  Let's pick up our hammer and start construction.  Hammer in the morning. Hammer in the evening. Hammer all over this land.

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