Sunday, February 1, 2015

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

We are constantly deluged by voices claiming to speak for God. So how do we know which ones are real and true? What signs should we look for as evidence of divine favor? Do we hope to be dazzled with supernatural powers? Or are we content to settle for the merely superhuman? What about those poor schlubs who possess neither popularity, nor institutional credentials, nor the proper lifestyle, nor a resume full of righteous deeds? Do we dismiss their words out of hand, or give them an opportunity to penetrate our hearts? How many prophets pass our tests, but spew more bile than love? And how much grace do we walk away from, because we could not prove its value in advance?

Which brings us to the elephant in the room: why should you believe that my voice is genuine, that the revelation I share is Truth, that I speak for our Parent? I have no proof, only words. But they are not really my words. They are a song I see in the eyes of the middle schoolers in my detention room, full of rudeness and disrespect, but also promise and hope. A song that screams from the mountains that climb above my hometown, a blinding sign that the kingdom is far grander than our little dog and pony show of an existence. A song I did not compose, but one whose lyrics I cannot help but write, for they are ripe fruit bursting from every nook and cranny of creation. How can anyone not hear this song or taste this fruit when it is so overwhelmingly omnipresent? They are yours for the taking, but you do not take them, do you? And so God asks a poor schlub like me to try to open your eyes. And so I offer you words, just words, and ask you to "harden not your hearts."