Life does not go well for us when we go against God. Yet we go against him. It may not be overtly or even intentionally, but it happens. Paul is speaking about what happened in the desert when the Israelites left Egypt for the Promised Land. No matter how often God showed his power and might, cared about and rescued people, they complained and wanted more. God’s care was not enough for them. Do you ever wonder, “why me?” or say “where are you?” when life is heavy? We forget that God is right there next to us. He is not in some far away detached place looking down and sighing at the mess we’ve made. No, he is right there next to you, offering help and healing.
Like it says in the Gospel, “he was moved with pity” and so Jesus heals the leper. He cares. Jesus is right there beside you, He sees you in your pain and suffering. Lift your eyes of faith to him and ask for what you need.
It is easy to harden our hearts when we don’t get our way or are in a difficult season of life. It’s as if we say “Rather than get hurt, I will protect myself from disappointment”. I tried that many years ago. I had a huge disappointment and felt I needed to withdraw to protect myself. I remember driving home, railing at the Lord, explaining why I was justified in my decision. I cried. I ranted. I was so upset I had to pull over. And when I finally took a breath I heard, “Give all of yourself as I gave all of myself for you.”
Hardening my heart was not the answer. And when I am tempted to consider that as a solution, I think back and recall those words I heard that day. Have faith, and harden not your heart.
Reading 1 Zep 2:3; 3:12-13 Seek the LORD, all you humble of the earth,who have observed his law;seek justice, seek humility;perhaps you may be shelteredon the day of the LORD’s…
Saint of the Day
Brother Juniper was a simple man who joined Saint Francis in the earliest days of the Order. While Saint Francis praised him and wished he had a “whole forest of such Junipers,” nevertheless, he could be exasperating for his generosity. Even saints can be frustrating.