In today’s first reading from Ezekiel 36, God tells the people that He is going to take some corrective measures. We also hear the renewal of the covenant…”You shall be my people, and I will be your God.” The Gospel reading from Matthew 22 is the parable of a king throwing a wedding feast. He sees that there is a man who is not properly dressed for the feast. So he was tosssed out. Jesus ends the story by saying, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Through the prophet Ezekiel, God tells the people that he is going to clean them up. He says He is going to cleanse them from all their impurities and put His spirit within them. “I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts.” That image of a stony heart is very stark for me. (It kind of sounds like a country song, doesn’t it?)
I find myself way too often feeling as though I have a heart of stone. I often have little empathy or sympathy for those who don’t think like I do, act like I want them to or believe like I think they should believe. I have little use for those who hurt me or disagree with me. Obviously this was a problem with the people of Ezekiel’s time. Still is today, I guess. Only God can break that stony heart and replace it with a natural heart; a heart filled with love and peace.
Father, I ask you today to take away my heart of stone. Replace it with a heart of flesh, filled with your love and grace. Amen.
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