Tuesday, February 11, 2014
The theme of responding to God's love with the whole heart is the background of today's Gospel, too. Provoked by the critics who observed the ritual omission of his disciples (how do you observe an omission, anyway?), Jesus complains that they have taken the heart out of the divine precepts, replacing God's priorities with temporal values, replacing love with a legal fiction. Without even realizing it, and believing they were upholding all things good and holy, "they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the creator" (see Rom. 1:25).
On today's feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, we hear again the dramatic call from Mary, "Penance! Penance! Penance!" Not in a vacuum, not as a value in itself, but as an act of love, acknowledging the compromises we tend to favor as a way of not-quite-loving, not-quite-sinning. A penance that restores the right order of things, and lets God stake his claim on us--and our whole heart.
Posted by Sr Anne Flanagan at 2:17 PM