Are religious credentials a matter of the mind, or the heart? Jesus was often challenged to provide an answer as to what was religiously lawful concerning one thing or another. His responses were usually directed to the heart. It was not about applying laws, but connecting to the essence of the life of others. For those who thought rules were more important than how the application of those rules could cause lasting damage or injustice to one of God’s children, Jesus said their hearts were ‘hardened’. Are there things to which our hearts might be hardened? Is it the blight of immigrant children separated from their parents? Insensitivity to women who claim to have been abused by powerful men? We are challenged daily to open our hearts up to those who are in vulnerable positions in life, and to seek how God would have us respond.

Blessings, Fr. Jim

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