Saturday in the Twenty-Sixth Week of Ordinary Time at Mississippi Abbey

Scripture Readings: Job 42:1-6, 12-16; Lk 10:17-24

Jesus confides something to His disciples. He tells them, “Many have desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.” This reminds us of the parable of the seed sower in Matthew 13. There, Jesus cites Isaiah to His disciples and tells them, “For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.”

Jesus then spells it out for them. It is about having a ready heart. He says, “Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight.”1

For some of us who may have at some point had a hardened heart, this receptivity, this change in perception, may have happened by having the heart broken. (That’s how what’s inside gets out!) Instead of fixing it, though, instead of “getting over it,” we listened to it. Then we were ready to “turn and be healed.”

This receptive heart is characteristic of the childlike. He then offers Himself as an example of this childlikeness. He addresses His Father and praises the Father for what has been shown and given to Him. Our contemporary example of that childlikeness is St. Therese of the Child Jesus. Her “Little Way” of spiritual childhood calls us to three tasks: to recognize and accept our spiritual poverty, to have childlike confidence that His merciful love will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, and it calls us to assurance that He will show us how to practice love.

With that kind of receptive heart we will triumph not in our authority over evil, but in the authority of God over us and, most of all, His presence to us.

1. The Message Bible