Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 15 When the Alleluia Should Be Said
Mass: Jam 1:12-18; Resp Ps 94; Mk 8:14-21

When cares abound within me, O Lord, your comfort gladdens my soul.

(Eckhart Tolle)

I like it when Jesus asks a question. Today Our Lord poses three: "Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?" (Mk 8:17-18).  It behooves us to be honest in our answers because "the Lord probes the mind and tests the heart" (Jer 17:10). In other words, we can run but we can't hide. One reason we run and hide may be that our hearts are hardened and our memories are clouded for one reason or another. We can look to the disciples as examples. They seemed to have forgotten the multiplication of the loaves and fishes-and they were there, seeing with their own eyes and hearing with their own ears! After all, four thousand people ate and were satisfied! (Mk 8:8). The Holy Father had this to say in today's homily: "Every one of us has something that has hardened within our heart. The medicine to combat hardheartedness is memory: recalling the blessings of the Lord. This keeps our heart open and faithful" (Homily, Twitter, February 18, 2020).

Recalling the blessings of the Lord sounds like a good idea to keep our hearts, eyes, and ears open to the wonders and mercy of the Lord. One year during Lent, I wrote at the top of my paper, every morning, something I was grateful for. The practice went on for some months. It seems a good time to renew this practice, before Lent. Speaking of Lent, Ash Wednesday is next week already-February 26, 2020. Sing alleluia while the time is ripe! (see today's reading from the Holy Rule, RB 15).

The following from Thomas Merton bears repeating:

To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us-and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, it is never unresponsive, it is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.

Today's photo: Indian plum (osoberry), Bald Hill Natural Area, Oregon. CO strikes again. Thank you.

© Gertrude Feick 2020

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