“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” One of the themes I have been focusing on the last couple weeks has been about doing the Lord’s will. It is often tempting to be doing our will rather than the Lord’s. The Lord is constantly calling people today; however the sound of His voice is often being drowned out.
It’s not easy doing the Lord’s will because often what He asks and expects from us today often tends to be countercultural. Our Lord calls us to stand up for and be open to life in all its stages from the very moment of contraception till natural death. We are called to accept life when God decides to bestow it not when we are ready to accept it. Contraception is becoming the norm, not only for society but also for many Catholics. Holy Mother Church has always remained steadfast that contraception is a sin. One could easily turn a blind eye from this issue simply because more people think its ok. That my brothers and sisters, is not love. As we listened to the Gospel we heard that the crowd was utterly amazed at the Lord’s words because He taught as one having authority. The Lord didn’t pull any punches when He spoke and here is the reason why because He believes you and I are worth fighting for! Yes we are, and if we love each other completely than we should want what is best for one another.
My brothers and sisters this is not the time to harden our hearts to the voice of the Lord. The Lord is continuously calling us to follow Him. Often times we miss the Lord’s voice because there are so many things out there to distract us. There is no denying we are living in challenging times as we were reminded clearly from the bishop’s letter. When it comes to our faith we cannot be cowards, but rather be prepared to live it courageously. As Jesus taught and continues to teach with authority we must live our faith with authority. No one in this room is perfect; but that doesn’t mean we should not strive to live our faith fully. When it comes to our faith we must give it our all. One of the mistakes we make is that we settle for the status-quo. Adapting and stealing a line from the movie Courageous, we shouldn’t settle for being good enough Catholics, we shouldn’t settle for being good enough parents, I shouldn’t settle for being a good enough priest, but rather courageously strive to be the best Catholics, parents, or priests we should be!
This week we enter Catholic School’s week. As a product of our Catholic Schools I am a strong supporter of them. Yet at the same time as I have said repeatedly our Catholic Schools go beyond our formal Catholic Educational system. Our CCD, RCIA, and other forms of catechesis are part of our Catholic School program. Of course we mustn’t forget our greatest form of Catholic Education our families. Each one of us is a part of our Catholic School system. We need to support one another in the mission of Catholic Education. As we honor Catholic School’s week may we strive to educate ourselves in the ways of the Lord. The Lord is calling and what He is asking is not always easy. May we not harden ourselves to His voice! Now this year I have the awesome privilege of teaching 8th grade religion over in our school as well as substitute on occasion over in CCD. Standing here as a teacher I want to give you all homework this week. Don’t worry I won’t go hard on you as my students and you won’t be graded. Take some time each day this week to really listen for the Lord’s voice. Listen closely and don’t be quick to harden your hearts. Open completely up to Him and you will find peace, understanding, and a greater readiness to do the Lord’s will.