"Today, if you should hear His voice, harden not your hearts as at the revolt in the day of testing in the desert." —Hebrews 3:7-8
The Israelites in the desert revolted against the leadership of Moses, who represented God (Nm 14:20ff). Thus, they revolted against God. All they could see was a blazing hot sun, a limited diet (Ex 16:1-4), a desert landscape "parched, lifeless, and without water" (Ps 63:2), and a report of giants inhabiting the land God promised. All the while in plain sight of the Israelites was daily bread and meat supplied directly from heaven (Ex 16:4ff). They had recently walked between walls of water in the Red Sea and saw the defeat of the Egyptian army by the hand of God. They had hardened their hearts, blinded their eyes, and closed their ears; they failed God's test.
God's warning to not harden our hearts applies to us, too. We might also be blind to the miracles right in front of our eyes. At every Mass, on the altar for all to see is the miracle of miracles: bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus, God Himself.
The Israelites could have seen the miracles before their eyes, but they only had eyes for what bothered them. Will you harden your heart or allow the Lord to open it to receive the Holy Spirit? "If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts" (see Heb 3:7-8, 15).
Prayer: "Open the eyes of my heart, Lord." May I never be blind to your love and never rebel against You.
Promise: Jesus said: "I do will it. Be cured." —Mk 1:41
Praise: St. Marguerite did not harden her heart, but helped to build up the new colony of Canada. She was known as "Mother of the Colony."
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, August 10, 2016
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