Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorO'Keefe, Johnen_US
dc.identifier.otherLectionary number: 308en_US
dc.description.abstractIt is already thirteen days into the new year and many of us are probably balking under the weight of our new year's resolutions. If we have not caved already, we may be on the brink. Sooner or later, for most of us, the zeal of resolution softens into the comfort of old patterns-we succumb to the familiarity of temptation. In a way, as we soften by yielding, our hearts are hardened.||Before Christmas I was discussing resolutions on the phone with my sister. I think the subject was diet. I have discovered that refined white flour and all related products-especially those with lots of sugar-do not agree with me at all. I feel dramatically better when I don't eat them, and usually I don't. But usually is not always. Sometimes I am willing to trade a moment a satisfaction for a whole day (or more) of discomfort. I said to my sister, "why is it so hard to change?" I mean, we often do not only what we know is not helpful, but what we know will and does hurt us. This is extremely odd. It is also a very old human problem, as both the reading from Hebrews and the Psalms point out.|What is "hardening our hearts" if not a willful softening of our resolution to follow Christ? If we read the Bible carefully, as the author of the letter to the Hebrews had, we will see this theme of hardening and resistance appear over and over again. Apparently human beings are very stubborn when it comes to doing God's will. It is far easier to sit on the couch and watch TV than to rise before dawn for yet another workout. But rising early is exactly what is required. According to Hebrews, we need to choose that workout daily, because this is what is required of "partners of Christ." This resolutory ambition is captured in today's psalm response: "if today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts." Every day requires a new choice to remain faithful to the gospel. Hebrews in conjunction with this psalm seems to have little patience for New Year's slackers like us.|The relief comes in remembering that we are lepers. If we have a hard time changing our habits in order to eat well and exercise, why would we expect change to come easily in other areas of our life, areas where we resist God and "harden our hearts" by the soft comfort of patterns that have been repeated for years and even decades. The leper in today's gospel had no more control over his leprosy than most human beings have over their sin. "Sin happens," as some say, if more crassly. What the leper recognized is that Jesus could make him clean. God could do for him what he could not do for himself.|I believe God wants us to succeed in our resolutions to live differently, more healthfully, and more authentically. The leper reminds us that such transformations are not accomplished by violent resolutions, but through humble submission to the transforming power of God in our lives. Now, go get on that treadmill!en_US
dc.publisherUniversity Ministry, Creighton University.en_US
dc.rightsThese reflections may not be sold or used commercially without permission. Personal or parish use is permitted.en_US
dc.titleReflection for Thursday, January 13, 2005: 1st week in Ordinary Time.en_US
dc.rights.holderUniversity Ministry, Creighton University.en_US
dc.publisher.locationOmaha, Nebraska, United Statesen_US
dc.program.unitCollege of Arts and Sciencesen_US
dc.contributor.cuauthorO'Keefe IV, John J.en_US Timeen_US 1en_US
dc.subject.local1Hebrews 3:7-14en_US
dc.subject.local2Psalms 95:6-7c, 8-9, 10-11en_US
dc.subject.local4Mark 1:40-45en_US
dc.title.seriesDaily Reflections (Meditations) on the Scriptures from the Roman Catholic Lectionary.en_US Ien_US

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Daily Reflections Archive
    Reflections written by Creighton University faculty, staff, and administrators on the daily mass readings.

Show simple item record