3rd Week of Lent : Thursday 11th March 2021

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Jesus: “Are you for me or against me?”

3rd Week of Lent : Thursday 11th March 2021

Jer 7:23-28; Ps 94:1-2.6-7, 8-9;
Lk 11, 14-23 (Ps Wk III)

The prophet Jeremiah was sent to the people to tell them that they have turned against God. Words such as, “did not listen”, “did not pay attention”, “evil hearts”, “refused to face me” and “turned their back on me”, are used to indicate this point. Even when God sent the prophets to warn the people, they refused to listen. In fact, they have “behaved worse than their ancestors”.

The people’s sinful condition is so bad that God knows that Jeremiah would fail in his mission to get the people to turn back to God. Jeremiah is being sent to  carry out a “mission impossible”. There is a word used in scripture to show the people’s sinful condition — “hardness of heart”. Once the heart “hardens” it has no room or space to listen, and repent or turn back to God. This is why the Psalmist tells us to listen to God before our heart hardens. Because once it does, it will be very difficult to turn back.

Jesus himself was confronted by people with “hardened” hearts. They had no room or space in their hearts even to listen. They even attributed the words and works of Jesus to Beelzebul, the master of demons.

In criticising them, Jesus points out that when it comes to believing in him, there is no middle ground: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Lk 11:23).

The question put to us by God is: “Are you for me or against me?” What is your answer?

Lord, help me always turn my heart to You.

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