Word of the day
Reading of the day
JB 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5
The LORD addressed Job out of the storm and said:
Have you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning
and shown the dawn its place
For taking hold of the ends of the earth,
till the wicked are shaken from its surface?
The earth is changed as is clay by the seal,
and dyed as though it were a garment;
But from the wicked the light is withheld,
and the arm of pride is shattered.
Have you entered into the sources of the sea,
or walked about in the depths of the abyss?
Have the gates of death been shown to you,
or have you seen the gates of darkness?
Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all:
Which is the way to the dwelling place of light,
and where is the abode of darkness,
That you may take them to their boundaries
and set them on their homeward paths?
You know, because you were born before them,
and the number of your years is great!
Then Job answered the LORD and said:
Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you?
I put my hand over my mouth.
Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again;
though twice, I will do so no more.
Gospel of the day
Jesus said to them,
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented,
sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon
at the judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum, 'Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.'
Whoever listens to you listens to me.
Whoever rejects you rejects me.
And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me."
Words of the Holy Father
If we all stop and look into our hearts today, we would see how many times — how many! — we have closed our ears and how many times we have become deaf. And when a people, a community, but let us say, even a Christian community, a parish, a diocese closes its ears and becomes deaf to the Word of God, it seeks other voices, other lords, and it ends up involving idols, the idols which the world, worldliness, and society offer it. We become distant from the living God. It is a negative process which leads to not listening to the Word of God, to distancing oneself, and thus, to a hardened heart, closed within itself, to the point that it loses the sense of faithfulness. This not listening and turning our backs ... hardens our hearts, leads mankind on the path of unfaithfulness. Each of us today can ask him- or herself: ‘Do I stop to listen to the Word of God? Do I take the Bible in my hands and is He talking to me?’; and, ‘has my heart become hardened? Have I distanced myself from the Lord? Have I lost my faithfulness to the Lord and do I live with the idols that everyday worldliness offers? Have I lost the joy of the marvel of the first encounter with Jesus?’. Thus, today is a day for listening. Listen today to our Lord’s voice, and do not harden your heart’. Indeed, let us ask for this grace: the grace to listen so that our hearts may not harden. (Santa Marta, 23 March 2017)