Thursday, March 03, 2016

Listen to My Voice

By Beth DeCristofaro

Glenstal Abbey Jesus Icon
Thus says the LORD: This is what I commanded my people: Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people. Walk in all the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper. (Jeremiah 7:23)

Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven. But he knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. … Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. (Luke 11:15-17, 23)

God our Father, your will is that everyone be saved and no one be lost.  You draw us to yourself by prayer and penance.  Grant that we may so follow Christ in love that our lives may help others and our weakness never hinder them.  We make this payer in his name, Jesus, the Christ, our Lord.  Amen  (The Glenstal Book of Prayer, Liturgical Press; New edition (September 2001)

Jeremiah, in today’s reading, reminds the Israelites how they have not listened, have not walked in God’s ways and have not prospered.  Verse 28 which immediately follows says: ”Cut off your hair and throw it away! On the heights raise a lament!” The footnote to this verse explains that cutting off the long hair of those committed in a sacred vow to God is an extreme act of mourning. Jeremiah warns that they should feel powerful grief because they spurned God who chose them. 

In the Gospel Jesus frees people from their demons.  He doesn’t demand a period of parole or treat them with contempt.  Rather he invites them to reunite within themselves and with God.  Which voices do we listen to today, God or ungodly voices?  Lent is the perfect season to practice filling our own house with the voice of God.  We are given the opportunity to fast from our own idols, addictions, prejudices, angers, slothfulness, miserliness, pettiness.  We can chose to turn back.  In fact we are welcomed to turn back and walk in all the ways that God commands.

Today two groups of women who have all agreed to turn back afresh to God through Cursillo will meet and hear God’s voice in a new way in their midst.  God welcomes them all with abandoned enthusiasm as did the Prodigal’s Father.  Spend time in prayer for Team, Babe Chicks and for yourself to experience once again the burning in your heart of God’s call.  One idea is Lectio Divina for Lent, link below.

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