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The Eclipse of Faith

Reflection on Mass Reading for February 13, 2018 

The remarkable explanation of a solar eclipse and its strange, even eerie effects on nature has even more interesting implications for our own spiritual life. Our sun is about four hundred times greater than the size of our moon and interestingly is also about four hundred times farther away. This is why the tiny little lunar object can block the entire massive radiant burst of the sun, if just for a short time. Flowers, pets, farm animals, insects, birds and even salmon have bizarre reaction to this phenomenon. “Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death.” Something very similar could be said about how sin impacts our souls. The Scriptures address this interesting insight that leads us to examine how we allow something so tiny, petty and far from the love of our Lord to block the massive love that is freely given to each one of us. Yet it happens with numbing regularity.

“Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?” Jesus also appears a bit incredulous about our behavior. And with reason. How does it happen that we would allow anything to block the effects of the awesome Sacrifice of Christ? There could be a clue here in the Gospel. Jesus refers to the hardening of the heart as a possible way to understand this spiritual eclipse. Sin causes hearts to grow hard, especially continual and unrepentant sin. If we remain in pride, refuse or avoid to confess our sins, and then live a hazardous, unrealistic spiritual life, these factors taken together have a desensitizing effect on the conscience, making it difficult to even distinguish right from wrong. St. Paul referred to this as a seared or scorched conscience. The solution and remedy is love that produces hope and the strength to endure suffering. “Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord; and my Father will love him and we will come to him.” (Alleluia Verse)

Let us pray

“Lord, You know how I have been hurt and how I have hurt others. You are truly aware of the parts of my heart that have become hard and unresponsive to your Love. Please, soften my heart that I may always hope for your forgiveness and live in humility. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”

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