Readings for Wednesday January 6, 2010
First Reading: 1 John 4:11-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm
Gospel: Mark 6:45-52
When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out. They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely astounded. They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened. (Mk 6:47-52)
According of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. Each year heart disease claims many lives. There is also another heart condition that is not only causing major issues in our country, but also in our world, and that heart condition is called the hardened heart.
In today's gospel we see that Jesus had just finished feeding five thousand people with just a few loaves and some fish. Now, while He was sending off the crowds, He had the disciples go ahead in the boat. While they were out there, the weather got kind of rough, and the boat started really rocking. While this was going on, they started to see this figure walking toward them on the water. Now, of course since this is not a typical sight out on the sea, it is understandable that they were frightened. But, while they were fearing the worst, Jesus calms their fears and telling them not to worry, that it is Him, and He proceeds to get on the boat. Now, the disciples were completely in awe; they could not comprehend what just happened, and it is because they were struck by the same heart condition that many people in our world are suffering form as well, a hardened heart.
You see a hardened heart prevented the disciples from understanding the miracle of feeding the five thousand and it preventing them from understanding this miracle as well. A hardened heart is a very serious thing, because if our hearts are hardened, then we will be preventing from seeing God's work in our lives and in the world. We cannot love God as we are called or have a strong faith if we are suffering from this heart condition.
Fixing this heart condition requires change in our lives. It requires surrendering our pride, asking God to send us His spirit and open our eyes to His love and His goodness. It requires a steady diet of pray and the Sacraments. Most of all, it requires faith. If we can work on this change of heart, then we do not have to find ourselves like many people in this world who's hearts are hardened toward God.
May we all be sure to take care of our hearts and of our lives, after all it's the only one we got!
Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. Lord, help us not to waste these precious moments that you give us. Lord, our lives are a blessing and a miracle themselves, help us to treat them as the gift that they are. We praise you for all that you give and all that you do, help us to follow you no matter where you lead us to. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.