Thursday of the Third Week of Lent
Book of the Prophet Jeremiah 7:23-28, Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9, & Luke 11:14-23
In today’s first reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, we hear the voice of God speaking to His beloved people. It is the ancient call of God to, “Listen to my voice; then I will be your God, and you shall be my people.” Unfortunately, this opening verse is followed by words of disappointment. God laments at the refusal of the people of Israel to act according to their God-given identity. As a result, God tells Jeremiah that the people will not listen to him because the word “faithfulness” has been banished from their speech.
In the Gospel of Saint Luke, we see Jesus casting out a demon from a mute person. This gesture is meant to be a confirmation that Jesus is a prophet to be listened to and accepted. Some people are impressed and amazed, but others accuse Him as coming from satan. As a result, a “courtroom scene” develops in which Jesus confronts His accusers.
Sisters and brothers, the readings today present us with our resistance to hearing the voice of God and our failures in seeing God’s good works in our lives. We have our arguments and questions about things that have and are happening in our lives and our world. The Lord Jesus made gestures to invite a faithful response from those who could perceive His actions. The reaction to Him had to be free, and so Jesus allows His actions to stand by themselves.
Today, we are invited to pray with the Lenten-theme of call and response. God gives us our own “free will” to believe but never forces us to believe. We all hear God’s ancient call to us to trust what we hear and have “faithfulness” as a word that expresses our devotion, allegiance, and commitment to Him and the teachings of Christ, our Risen Lord.
Question of the Day: How will you hear the voice of God and be guided by the words you hear?
Prayer: My Father, I give You thanks because You take care of me, and I will always listen to Your voice. May Your will be accomplished in me. Amen.