Saturday, August 04, 2012

Listen to the Voice of the Lord

Listen to the Voice of the Lord

August 4, 2012
Memorial of Saint John Mary Vianney, priest

Jeremiah gave this answer to the princes and all the people: "It was the LORD who sent me to prophesy against this house and city all that you have heard.  Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds; listen to the voice of the LORD your God, so that the LORD will repent of the evil with which he threatens you.  As for me, I am in your hands; do with me what you think good and right.  Jeremiah 26:12-14

But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.  Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist."  The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison.  Matthew 14:6-10


I love You, O my God, and my only desire is to love You until the last breath of my life.
I love You, O my infinitely lovable God,
and I would rather die loving You, than live without loving You.
I love You, Lord, and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally
My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You,
I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath.


Jeremiah held nothing back in his temple sermon.  He told them that if they did not obey the laws of the Lord and walk according to the ways of the prophets, then the city will become a pariah, cursed in its destiny.  IN essence, he warned them that they will reap what they sowed.
Jeremiah was not concerned with political correctness.  He was not pulling any punches with the powerful audience listening to his temple sermon.  And he faced the consequences as people began to call for his death.  They would prefer to stay in their comfort zone and kill the messenger rather than heed the message -- consequences be damned.
John the Baptist found himself in a similar position speaking truth to power.  Although unlike Jeremiah, he did not escape the death sentence. 


What do you hear?  Whom do you hear? 
In today's society, the voices of the prophets are drowned out by the mire in which we are stuck.  Sports.  News.  Business.  Politics.  Fashion.  Music.  "Make it work," we are told as a way of seeking personal fame.  " You only live once," we hear as a mantra compelling us to more personal gain. 
Yet there ARE voices calling for changing the direction in which we seek happiness.  There are voices of reform.  But we want OUR taxes lower.  We want OUR salary higher.   We want OUR house to be bigger.  We want OUR car to be faster.
Listen for the voices of change.  How will you respond?  Will you ignore them ? Will you try to crush them? 
Who is the voice of the Lord, today?  Maybe it is you.  We say we love the Lord not just with words and prayers but also with what we do.  How will your actions express that friendship?

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