Take care, brothers and sisters,
that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart,
so as to forsake the living God.
Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,”
so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin.
We have become partners of Christ
if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end. Hebrews 3:10-14
By virtue of our baptism and incorporation into the Body of Christ, we have become partners with Christ. But we live out that partnership in a world that is filled with, indeed often energized by, values that are the opposite of the values espoused and live by Jesus. Conversion is not a one time thing because we and our world are constantly changing and thus our conversion needs to be a living organic acceptance of the way of life of Jesus. It will be different when one is 72 than it was when one was 21; the same but also different because I have changed and I live in a world that has changed.
It is not that the world directly assaults my faith and commitments. Rather the danger is slow and gradual erosion of my commitment to the way. It is like cataracts. Your eye gradually loses the light and focus required for sharp eye sight and for vibrancy of color and images. But this loss is gradual, so gradual that one really doesn't notice it. It just becomes how one sees and with the adjustments that the brain makes, we don't realize that things have changed. Once the cataracts are removed and we see clearly again, only then do we realize what we have been missing. This is how the values of the world work against our discipleship. It is important that we periodically take stock of where we are and what we are seeing.
As the psalm response for today says, "If today you hear God's voice, harden not your heart." Although the healing miracle recounted in today's gospel deal with a leper, we recall that very often they dealt with people who were blind. Christ restored their sight so that they saw things clearly. That can be my prayer. In deed that must be my constant prayer as I live out my faith commitments in the world.
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Location:Charissa Run,Rochester,United States