Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Hardened Heart?

Today's gospel is a switch from St. Luke' Sunday reading to St. Mark's Monday reading!  Both Evangelist are presenting their remembrance or interpretation of what did happen on the other side of Lake Gennesaret.  For Luke, as you may recall, it was the call of Peter after the miraculous catch of fish.  For Mark, as you learned from today's (Monday's) gospel reading, there had been two miracles when Jesus was on the other side of the lake.  There had been the 5000 for a feeding and then the calming of the waves and Jesus calling Peter to walk out to him on the water (and Peter's moment of doubt when he got wet!).

Mark commented that the disciples did not recognize Jesus at first when he came to them on the water because as Mark commented the disciples didn't get it about Jesus after they had witnessed the feeding. Mark said that the disciples had hardened hearts, a phrase used to speak about those who were not favorably disposed toward Jesus.  The disciples had not yet comprehended Jesus' "self-revelation through the signs"he had been giving to people.

Let's consider our soon to begin Lenten Journey with Jesus.  Can we not ask ourselves if we have come to a genuine understanding of the person of Jesus?  What impact have the Eucharist and other blessings in our lives (signs from Jesus to us) had upon us?  There are day, for sure, when our hearts are hardened if you listen to some conversations.  During the days of Lent perhaps there may be more graces for us if we minimize our focusing on past sins.  I think Jesus knows what they are already!  Perhaps we will gain more if we take these days to engage in serious conversation with Jesus about who each of us is and what it is that God wants from us.  

It is interesting that the disciples had not understood who Jesus was at this point in his and their lives.  However, Mark is clear that the ordinary people recognized him immediately.  As soon as they saw him or heard he was in a particular place, they brought their sick for healing.  They knew he was someone quite special because, as Mark wrote, "... and as many as touched it [the tassel of his cloak] were healed."

And you?  And me?  Do we have the simple faith of the ordinary people?  Consider all the "signs" Jesus has given us and our world:  how real and strong is our faith?  What you/me do during this Lenten Season to bring forward our faith and how our belief touches our lives?  What can we do to assist the Holy Spirit and Jesus in their efforts to make the faith come alive in the hearts of those who seem to have forgotten about Jesus?  These are Lenten Practices that may more impact on our lives that trudging through the litany of past sins!