Reflection From ‘Soul Institute’ Gospel for Thursday Jan 8 ‘Only the Holy Spirit can soften our hearts’

“Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit,
and news of him spread throughout the whole region.
He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.

He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.”

Pope Francis said in his homily, “Only the Holy Spirit can soften our hearts.” The Holy Spirit comes to set us free from the prison of our heart. Pope Francis said, “Among the reasons why one would have a ‘heart of stone’ is that they have gone through a ‘painful experience.’ The Apostle Thomas, who refused who believe in the Resurrection, was just such an example…And being closed can turn into so many things, sufficiency, to think myself better than others, vanity..Another reason is for a hardened heart: that of ‘barricading’ one’s self behind the letter of the law. The irony of this is that those who seek security within the law end up becoming like a ‘man or a woman in the cell of a prison behind bars: a security without freedom. The heart when it is hardened, is not free and if it is not free it is because it does not love.”

Scripture says if today you hear His Voice harden not your heart. Every time we hear the word of God. We make a decision to accept or reject God’s Voice, His Grace into our heart. However, this decision to accept or reject God’s Voice in our heart is only for a season. If we reject God’s Voice enough times than our hearts become hardened and we are no longer free to hear His Voice. Pope Francis says when our hearts become hardened we are now in a state of corruption and not sin. When our hearts are corrupt they need to be healed.

Thought for the day: Do you have a hardened heart? Have you allowed your heart to become hardened?

Prayer for the day
Holy Spirit soften my heart
Holy Spirit free my heart
Holy Spirit take away my heart of stone
And give me a heart of flesh
If I have allowed my heart to become hardened than I give you permission Holy Spirit
To break my heart of stone and give me a new heart
Holy Spirit teach me how to Love
Holy Spirit move my heart to love my Father in Heaven

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