Readings and meditation on the Word of God, the 24th Sunday of ordinary time, September 15, 2019. Exodus 32, 7-11. 13-14; 1Timothy 1, 12-17; Luke 15, 1-32. Voice: brother Widi sdb (1st reading), brother Franco sdb (2nd reading), brother Victor sdb (Gospel), and father Peter sdb (meditation)
Our meditation on this 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time has the theme: Tenderness of Two Hearts. Generally we know that there are two types of hearts, namely a stubborn or hard heart and a tender or gentle heart. If the two are friends and complement each other, then when a hard-hearted person wants to be good, he is helped by someone who is tender and kind.
Sometimes people who are too soft-hearted or over gentle will agree with everything to happen, including actions that are against discipline or good manners. So the person who is too soft or exessively gentle requires the firmness of other fellows who are more firm-hearted or strong manner to uphold the rules and restore discipline.
People who are hard-hearted and firm in their attutudes have similarities, which is they have a high determination in self-confidence and firm with the decisions they make. The difference is that those who are hard-hearted tend to be stubborn and go against the rules. While those who are firm in their stand are those who maintain the correct and consistent decisions in their attitude towards the choices and preferences that they hold.
We see that in certain points of Salvation history, God is very strict and it seems that He does not want to tolerate human evil behaviors, as proclaimed to us in the book of Exodus. But God is also very tender in His heart. After being drown by the petition of Moses, God’s heart became so tender and He forgave the people He so loves. Hard or firm and tender hearts can sit and walk together and supporting each other.
The tenderness and gentleness of the Lord’s heart also seen as if he were looking for and finding a lost child. This tenderness manifests in patience and love that is so strong upon receiving His beloved child who disappears, prostitutes, falls into sin and lives miserable. The peak of God’s tender heart is to forgive and restore the dignity of a sinner to be again His beloved child as before.
God’s tenderness has overcome the hardness of every sinner, even as hard as steel. The hard-hearted Israelite, St. Paul who was once very cruel against Jesus and the early Church, the lost sheep, and the prodigal son, are the representatives of every man who is stubborn and hard-hearted. But the tenderness of God is actually much harder than the stubborn and hardened human hearts. Then the result is that their heads and hearts become tender. They are converted, regret themselves and repent. Here there is a meeting of two tenderness. Here happiness and heaven are found. Let us work on it now.
Let’s pray. In the name of the Father … O Lord Jesus, may this Sunday make us individuals with a gentleness like yourself who is very generous and merciful. Our Father … In the name of the Father …