The question of hard hearts

HardHeart“They had not understood the incident of the loaves.
On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.”

These are the last two lines of today’s Gospel from Mark. For whatever reason, I don’t feel as if I have ever read them before. In fact, I felt shock when I read them earlier today.

“They had not understood the incident of the loaves.
On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.”

This makes me think about how we live in the midst of grace and miracles all the time, but we frequently do not understand, and our hearts are hardened as well.

What makes us so quick to judge?

If the Church does this or that, if the Pope says this or that, if a popular Catholic writer or blogger says this or that, if our priest, bishop, or someone else we know from church says this or that, many of us tend to want to circle around that person in admiration. Of course, just as often, we want to circle around that person to deride, judge, or attack.

How do we allow Jesus to thaw our hearts? Are we even interested in such a thing? Do we want to be justified? Or transformed?

Today I hope to see the miracles and grace that are all around me. Today I pray to not react with a hard heart, but to respond with the openness of grace that allows me to see God in all things.


7 thoughts on “The question of hard hearts

  1. I was struck by the same lines, Fran. Earlier, I was also struck by the fact that Jesus was going to pass by the disciples’ boat, I assume to meet them at their arrival.
    I sense a connection between the first reading by John about love and the hardened hearts. When we love we are in Godde. The disciples are not yet in Godde or in love for that matter. They experience fear and they do not see the event of the loaves through the eyes of love. They will later.
    Which makes me come to your conclusion. When does this happen to me? and praying for the grace to see Godde in all things, through Godde’s love šŸ™‚


  2. It’s odd, Fran, because I felt the same way when I read the scripture today. But I do know that I am reading scripture more slowly and with expression, because of a little booklet loaned to me by a friend. It’s called PRAY ( A MINI COURSE IN SPIRITUALITY) by Rev. Bartholomew Joseph O’Brien.


  3. The gospel has nothing to do with judgment or judging anything. Your claim is a far stretch at best. The question you should ask yourself is what is making the apostles’ heart harden and why is the gospel writer stating this, especially in light of what is actually occurring at this specific moment. I agree transformation is required and we’re missing out on grace that is being offered at the given moment, but the apostles are hardly circling around Christ and attacking as your commentary implies. They’re lacking in understanding since that is clearly stated in the gospel and it is a given according to how this passage is written but they’re not doing what you’re claiming at all. Not understanding does not necessarily mean what you’re stating here. You are projecting into the story what is troubling you these past days and that is fine if that is what you believe but it is not what this story is about.


    • Jimmy Smith, welcome to the blog. I respectfully submit that you are over-reading into what I said about the disciples. I was quoting the Gospel and reflecting on how that works in my life. That is why it is called a reflection. You seem to have a lot of certainty about what I am saying, and I am afraid that you are incorrect. I wish you peace.


      • I am only referring to what you wrote and clearly pointing out that the gospel passage is not speaking about what you’re claiming. Now that you’ve stated it’s your reflection and it’s the first time you state this clearly, I think it clarifies things. The only certainty here is what you’ve stated. Peace to you too!


        • I’m sorry that I did not realize that you had added a second comment Jimmy. You are always welcome here, but these essays are my reflections. Add to that, the Catholic notion that Scripture is not to be interpreted literally (see the Vatican document Dei Verbum) and you know where I am coming from. Peace.


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