Loosen Your Stiff Necks

Readings for Thursday April 7, 2011

First Reading: Exodus 32:7-14
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 106
Gospel: John 5:31-47

You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life. (John 5:39-40)

In today's reading from Exodus; while Moses was on the mountain with God, the early Jews had a golden calf made to worship. They were called (and rightly so) a "stiff necked people." These people were searching for life and fulfillment from things of this world. They were searching for meaning and understanding from things and objects that they could make and conjure up in their minds. The Jews from the today's gospel were not willing to believe Jesus because He was not what they expected, nor was He something that they could understand. They too were a stiff necked people. The Jews were so blinded from God that they were unable to hear or see Him, even when He was right in front of them! They were not willing to rely on Him for life, they were too stubborn and wanted to rely on themselves.

How often are we like the Jews from the readings today? We too are a stiff necked people, seeking life and fulfillment in other things instead of the Lord. Jesus makes it very clear that in order to have everlasting life, then we must be good and faithful disciples carrying our crosses daily, and serving Him with all that we are. We cannot be a stiff necked people, otherwise we too will be blind and deaf to the Lord. We must detach ourselves from the things of this world, in order to rely totally on the Lord. This season of Lent that we are in is an excellent time to begin this detachment and for letting go of the worldly things to which we think we need. Is your lent the time of prayer and fasting that it should be? If not, what can you do to change it now?

Brothers and sisters, I pray that we can all loosen our stiff necks so that we may bow our heads before the one true God who gives us life.

Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. Lord, we thank you for all you have given us and all the blessings we have received. Lord, help soften our hearts so that we may be humble and trusting servants of you. Lord, as you are always faithful to us, so may we be faithful to you in all that we do. We pray for all those who are blind and deaf to you, may their ears and eyes be opened ready to listen and see you in their lives. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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