Third Sunday of Lent
March 12, 2023 •
You see, hardness of heart is the main problem in our relationship with God and in salvation. But it's also the main problem in our relationships with one another.
It's most clearly experienced in marriage, when you harden your heart against your spouse. Why do you do this? Well, for several seemingly justified reasons: they keep hurting you, over and over again, in the same way. You try to get over it, you try to love, you try to forgive, you try to be patient. But after a while you say: I can't do this anymore. It's too painful, I'm done.
So even before you end the relationship officially, you close off your heart.
The heart is like a light switch - it's either on or off. You can't have your heart open to some and closed to others. It is either open to all, and God. Or closed to all, and God. The moment you close your heart off to anyone - especially a spouse - guess what? It's now hard. Like a rock. Nothing flows from a rock. At least not naturally. So your heart dries up, it dies.
It ceases to love the Lord. It ceases to love your spouse. It even ceases to love your neighbor and your children. All of it.
You can delude yourself for a time thinking "Oh, I still love some of these people." No. At that point it's all corrupted, tainted and perverted. None of it is true love. That's not how the heart works.
So how do you overcome that hardness of heart?
Well, in the Old Testament, what did God do? He struck the rock to break it open.
Is that what Jesus did with the Samaritan woman? Did he just walk up and slap her: "Repent you sinner!" No! No. So gently. He carefully won her over.
That's what He wants to do with each of you. . . .
There is a way our Lord can win over your heart. He does it in the same way He won over the Samaritan woman. He always does it gently. He doesn't come outright and demand repentance from you even though that's what He needs. He has the ability to change your hard heart into a fleshly heart.
But He won't do it against your will.
Ex 17:3-7; Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9; Rom 5:1-2, 5-8; Jn 4:5-42
Homily begins at 24:30