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Thursday, March 28, 2019

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Jeremiah 7:23-28
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9
Luke 11:14-23

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i'm angry, god

"Oh, that today you would hear His voice..." —Psalm 95:7

In today's first reading, God shares a point of view with many people who are disgruntled with religion. God is dissatisfied with the behavior of His people. He is disturbed by what He sees when He looks at those who were supposed to be faithful to His call. In fact, He is angry with His people, and His anger bursts forth through the prophet Jeremiah: "Faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech" (Jer 7:28). To this point, numerous people would agree completely with God: "Yes, the Church is flawed, God's people are unfaithful, and I'm tired of it. I'm angry about it, to the point where I can't hold it in. You go, God!" Church historians throughout the centuries have often wryly observed that the sinfulness of leaders within the Church proves that God is the Head of the Church, for otherwise there is no way she could have survived two-thousand years without collapse.

However, in today's psalm response, the Lord changes the focus from the plural to the singular. The Divine God now looks at "your" heart instead of "their" heart. He calls you and me to look at the plank in our own eye first, and remove that through repentance. Only then can we help others remove the speck from their eye (Mt 7:4-5). God implores us: "Oh, that today you would hear [My] voice, harden not your hearts" (Ps 95:7-8). Let us all "be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for a man's anger does not fulfill God's justice" (Jas 1:19-20). Instead, trust in the Lord and His power to renew His people.

Prayer:  Father, replace any anger in my heart with a deep thirst for hearing Your Word.

Promise:  "If it is by the finger of God that I cast out devils, then the reign of God is upon you." —Lk 11:20

Praise:  Bill was downhearted over the results of an election. His brother prayed with him over the phone and witnessed to him about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Bill then began to pray in tongues for the first time right there on the telephone.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 24, 2018

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