27th Sunday Ordinary Time – Divorce & the Hardness of Hearts
What’s at stake in the gospel of Mark in this encounter with the Pharisees concerning divorce is the hardness of the hearts of the scribes, the Pharisees, the chief priests and elders AS WELL AS Jesus’ disciples. (sklerokardia)
Mark 6:49-52 …but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.
Mark 8:16-20 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.” Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
Mark 16:13f And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them. Later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at the table; and he upbraided them for their lack of faith and stubbornness, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.
In the hardness of our hearts today, the Church experiences deep divisions just as many nations of the world experience profound divisions. We effectively divorce one another. Why? To what end?
The question is: What softens hardened hearts?
What has helped you? Homily follows…
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