Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Matter of the Heart--Reflections on the Readings for Sunday August 12, 2007 Year C

August 12, 2007 Year C

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time/11th Sunday After Pentecost

Reflections on the Readings by Dennis Hankins

Wisdom 18:65-9; Psalm 33:1, 12, 18-22

Hebrews 11:1-2; 8-19; Luke 12:32-48

Theme:  A Matter of the Heart

Where you treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Today's readings reflect clearly the Father's intention to give us an inheritance.  In fact it is His good pleasure to give us the kingdom.  He is not ashamed to be called our God, for he has prepared a city for us.  We know from today's scriptures that it is to our hearts the Father has spoken and reveals there His unfailing love for us.  The history of this revelation began in the Garden of Eden where the Father communed with Adam and Eve as a friend among friends.  And through Abraham, Moses and the children of Israel is provided for us examples of how with the heart man believes.  

Jesus describes the diligence we are to employ in obtaining our redemption.  It is with our loins girded and our lamps burning which describes our devotion, alertness and fervency.  

It is carelessness and coldness of heart against which we must guard ourselves.  

It is the fervent prayer of the righteous that accomplishes much.  

It is we who must draw near to the heart of the Father.  

It is to the heart whose affection is set on things above that matters the most. 

In the Liturgy of the Church this truth is revealed daily.  We hear the invitation to 'Lift up your hearts.'  We respond 'We lift them up to the Lord.'  These words are 2,000 years old and they still have the life of the Spirit in them. Time has not diminished their power or the life they invite us to receive.  It would be a shame if these words became only a routine to us.  Moreover, if we don't understand what the treasure is our heart will remain unchanged and unmoved.  Still further, if we are not persuaded in our hearts of the love given us in the Eucharist, then on what will we set our affection?  

It is not possible to overstate how carefully we should evaluate the desires of our heart.  As we read today …faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the men of old received divine approval.  It is most likely the conviction of things not seen that distinguishes us from those whose hearts are still blinded.  But this only highlights the truth that we are to live with our lamps burning. We are to witness to the treasure that has conquered our hearts. 

Often I remember the ardor with which my walk with the Lord began.  Certainly as the cares and the responsibilities of life come along I need to remember this.  One of the effective ways to get the compass of our heart reset is to visit the Lord in the Adoration Chapel.  It is like breathing the air of eternity.  Before the Lord we are reminded that the condition of our heart matters to the Lord of all love and forgiveness. "Let not your heart be troubled," He says at our coming to him.  "You believe in God, believe also in me," He says.  

So, believe, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

It is a matter of the heart.

Let us pray:  Dear Jesus, you have shown me the Father's love.  On the Cross you revealed your Sacred Heart.  And now help me to be responsive and diligent.  Where coldness and indifference has replaced true love, then again let the fire of eternal love and life touch me again.  May this always matter to me.  Amen.

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