St. Mark tells us in his gospel that the people were astonished at the teaching of Jesus when he entered the synagogue.  He had an authority (and truth) which they had not seen before.  St. Paul admonishes us to set our anxieties aside (for we all have them) and to be laser focused in listening and adhering to the Lord without distraction.  Our Responsorial (Psalm 95) recounts the questioning and testing of God at Massah.  God had already delivered food (manna) when needed but now drinkable water was the need.  God instructs Moses to gather the people and to strike a rock with his staff (which will provide them with water).  God grants Moses the reassurance of the Divine Presence: “I will be standing there in front of you”. In giving manna, bread from heaven, earlier, and now water (from an earthly rock), God provides for his people and shows his mastery over creation.  We are called to not allow our hearts to become hardened when we hear the voice of the Lord but to recognize his authority, truth and love for us.

Moses had a relationship and awareness of God which others were only beginning to understand.  He had to continually witness to and remind others of the goodness and love of God.  As Vincentians, we too must be witnesses and continual reminders to the presence, compassion and love of our God.  We often encounter people at a time when darkness and despair have entered their lives.  We must be the light cutting through that darkness and reminding them of the eternal hope and salvation of our Lord.  Do I continually strive to make God’s presence known through my actions?  Do I continually strive to soften my heart – and the hearts of others – that the voice of our Lord may be clearly heard?

Lord Jesus, you have the words of salvation and hope.  Humble me that I might hear your voice and trust in your ways.  Allow me to dispel the darkness of despair for others through the truth of your compassionate care.  Help me to set aside my anxieties and those of others by focusing solely on your will for us.  Let my heart be softened that I might hear the sweet sound of your voice.  We pray all of this in your name.  Amen

Deacon Mike