Thursday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
August 18, 2022
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we see how the soul becomes “dressed” or prepared for the kingdom.
In our passage from Ezekiel, God does a major makeover for Israel, as a matter of fact, God actually recreates Israel:
I will sprinkle clean water upon you
to cleanse you from all your impurities,
and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you,
taking from your bodies your stony hearts
and giving you natural hearts.
I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes,
careful to observe my decrees.
Ezekiel’s God is fed up with Israel’s sinfulness and decides to “make them live by my statutes”. According to Ezekiel, this rejuvenation is done for God’s sake, not Israel’s.
Thus says the LORD:
I will prove the holiness of my great name,
profaned among the nations,
in whose midst you have profaned it.
Thus the nations shall know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD,
when in their sight I prove my holiness through you.
The king in our Gospel gets pretty fed up too with people rejecting his invitation to the wedding. When his recalcitrant invitees killed his servants, the king blew a gasket. He even took a snap on the poor schlep who showed up in business-casual attire!
As when praying with all scripture passages, we must receive them in light of the circumstances and culture in which they were written. Our prayer, rooted in our own relationship with God, will allow us to peel away the cultural layers to discover the unchanging message which pertains to us.
What I found in today’s passages are these thoughts:
- God loves us so much and would do anything to hold us in faithful relationship
- If our spiritual life had died, or is on life support, God will do a heart transplant if we repent and open ourselves to grace.
- We are all invited to eternal life with God, but we can get so distracted by our entanglements that we miss or ignore the invitation.
- Turn down the noise in your life so that you can hear God’s ringtone on your heart.
- It matters how we respond to this amazing invitation. We need to put on our best “clothes” – our best selves – so that we can fully welcome God’s life.
Poetry and Music: Here’s a simple but delightful representation of today’s Gospel. Enjoy it, friends.