Monday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
There are many dreadful things going on in our society right now. Prejudice, hate, disrespect. And just as prevalent is the blaming. It almost seems that assigning blame to others can fix the problem when it only shifts responsibility. Today's readings invite us to do something else. Rather than cast blame, they invite us to take look at ourselves and ask: What is my part in this?
In Deuteronomy 10, Moses reminds the Israelites they were chosen by God: "the Lord was so attached to (your ancestors) as to choose you, their descendants, in preference to all other peoples." This is not something that can be taken away by any human power, though the behavior of the Israelites—taking bribes, rejecting 'foreigners', living ungodly lives—demonstrates they believe otherwise. It seems they’ve forgotten who delivered them. Moses says to them, "Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and be no longer stiff-necked". Perhaps their 'part' (as well as ours) is failing to see self-will obstructs God's perfect love in the world. Perhaps, in our own way, we avoid examining our own hearts, avoid opening our minds to people and ways of life that differ from our own. Perhaps we just do nothing…feel we don't need to change.
Psalm 147 tells us from whom all peace, harmony, and goodness flow. God provides and sustains. God judges and absolves. And it is God who restores. Deep in our hearts, where we find the voice of God, is where we find how our own hearts must change. This day, there is one change of heart that God is asking of each of us. There is a change of heart for each person that plays a part in all this. Let us pray for the grace to listen to what God is saying and accept responsibility for our part in what transpires around us.