Hardened Hearts – Monday, 6th Week in ordinary time – Mark 8: 11-13
The gospel of today tells us that the scribes and the Pharisees come to argue with Jesus and right away we know where their hearts lie. They ask Jesus for a sign, not a miracle, why? If you look through the gospel of Mark, Jesus, by the chapter eight has worked innumerable miracles and asking him for one more would gain them nothing. Prominent among them are the multiplication of the loaves and fish in chapter 6, worked in a Jewish area and the again in chapter 8 in a Gentile area. They have seen the miracles but they don’t care and so unlike in Chapter 7:1 where they find a reason to argue with Jesus, here they come to pick a fight, plain and simple; their minds were made up, he had to die!
Hardened hearts are dangerous. It could blind us to such a degree that we reduce a miracle working God to criminal on the cross. The Pharisees come to Jesus to ‘test’ him. Ironically the other person who tested Jesus was Satan. We are told in the pericope of the miracle of the feeding of the four thousand, that the people were following Jesus for three days, they were hungry; yet they never put him to a test, they never demanded a sign.
That’s why Jesus sighs, and interesting says, “No sign will be given to this generation”. Where does that leave us? Should our hearts be bent on testing the Lord, should we continue to pick on his commandments and mock him then his words become true for us too, ‘ no sign will be given to us.’
We are invited today to trust the Lord, to ask and know we will receive, to seek and be confident to find, to knock and be assured that the door will be open.
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