Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday of the Second Week in Lent

(Jeremiah 17:5-10; Luke 16:19-31)

A few years ago a photograph of a sugar-cane cutter appeared in the Christian Science Monitor. His black skin shines with the same glow that emanates from the picture of the Sacred Heart hanging behind him. He dark eyes show both peace and suffering.

The photographer writes a few words concerning her subject. She says that he took her into his dilapidated one-room home and made her his guest. She adds that she has met many people whose lives were not easy, but never one with as much dignity as this sugar-cane cutter. She concludes by noting that he never looked ashamed or self-absorbed; rather, he spoke to her directly through compassionate eyes.

The readings today speak of the human heart. They tell us that one is blessed if her heart is open to the Lord’s commands to practice justice and to be merciful. Contrarily, they warn us of a heart that fixates on the human desires of domination and animal pleasure. The photograph of the sugar-cane cutter insures us that we need not be wealthy to have our hearts in the right place. Indeed, it indicates that we often find among the poor hearts instructed in the Lord’s ways.