Harden not your hearts

    March 21, 2024

    If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

    There seem to be many voices all around us. They speak to us on every thought that comes through our minds. Overwhelming feelings overflow as we struggle to truly listen to who might speak the truth. Perhaps we stop thinking because there is too much noise. Perhaps we feel the need to talk aloud with a friend. What do we do? What can we do?

    Abraham in the first reading listened to one voice only. God spoke to him clearly of a new covenant and its fruits. The psalm invites us, like Abraham, to listen to God: “Look to the Lord in his strength; seek to serve him constantly.” And in the gospel, Jesus speaks to a group of many voices with hardened hearts who question who he is. Jesus replies clearly and firmly in his Father’s name with words of glory: “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.” Simple and straightforward.

    At Catholic Charities we listen to many voices. Voices of fear. Voices of hunger and thirst. Voices of the persecuted. Voices of great need everywhere. These needs are tended because we listen. We make the effort to trust that God will provide — from a parish, a donor, a community partner, a team member, our services. We listen and discern what move to make to ensure that this person is cared for with compassion and dignity to continue their journey in life.

    We are invited to listen to our heavenly God at every moment in our lives, especially during Lent. Moments of silence — starting today and moving forward — are needed to hear his voice. This can be in an adoration chapel or outdoors in a peaceful setting. We can pull ourselves away from noises and distracting voices. We can seek times of silence to spend together, us and him. We can ask God to help us listen only to his direction and truth. On our continuing journeys, we must attempt to listen and be patient. For God will speak to us. And what joys will that bring to our lives.

    If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

    Dulce Valdez is the Parish and Diocesan Engagement Manager for Catholic Charities Community Services Arizona and a devoted wife and mother of four beautiful children.