Mk 7:1-13 Incline My Heart, O God.
How can we honor God? All you have to do is put your mind, heart and soul on Him and set them free. The mind is a beautiful thing; it separates us from all other creatures. Our ability to reflect and mediate on God and life allows us to go way beyond the common instinct for survival and gathering. The mind is well connected with the soul. Both faculties help us to not only pass judgment on our actions, but to feel - throughout our body, soul and heart - the pain of remorse or the joy of a faithful act.
This past Sunday, I spent a couple of hours with a beautiful family. The man in the house lost his father during the Super Bowl last year. His brother, who personally witnessed his father’s heart attack, is still struggling with the loss. During the game he felt in his heart to call his brother and try to help him. When he got off the phone, he asked me, “Father, how do you help someone with accepting death?” I told him, it all depends on how they see life and death.
How do we honor God? By honoring his incredible, wonderful and awesome gift of life. Let me ask you some questions. Do you wake up every day amazed at the fact that you are alive? Are you awe struck by the fact that you exist? That you live and breathe and move in a world that is so vast and yet appears so cozy? Are you still mesmerized by the life of your child, our baby or your teenage daughter and son? Or have you begun to take everything for granted. To no longer see the illogic of it all?
That same evening, their wonderful daughter asked me if there were any books that could help her to increase her faith. After all, she said, “I think too much. I’m too rational.” That is not true! We are not too rational. Our biggest problem is that we don’t think enough. We think too little because if we thought too much we would be, on a daily basis, dumbstruck with creation – with love, divine providence, salvation history, time, space, eternity, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, redemption, with God. Our biggest problem today is that we never take the time to reflect on the obvious. And therefore, we don’t see it or even notice it.
We find ourselves amazed more at a 3-D movie than of the real-time screen that literally, truly and so naturally enters our mind through our eyes, ears and touch! We are emotionally and physically touched more by the love of a paid actor/actress than by the love that someone truly has for me! That someone would vow their lives to me, and I to them! Doesn’t that just blow your mind? Or has it gradually faded from my mind?
We are hypocrites! “The Church is full hypocrites.” How many times have I heard this comment. And always by a hypocrite! It is true to a certain extent. We do not always behave the way we should. Isn't this true for all of us? And yet, it is the Christian that has come to terms with it - made a giant step forward towards mercy and forgiveness. Some still need to make that leap forward. Just a simple, logical, and heart provoking thought that leads to prayer and worship.
Incline my heart, O God. Incline my heart to love the things that you love. May I never forget or take for granted the amazing fact of life and yes, death.