In the first reading the Holy Spirit tells us, "harden not your heats.” And, that brings up the fearful possibility that our hearts could be irrevocably hardened.
If we presume that God, being so go and patient, will put up with our bad behavior endlessly, we have another thing coming. That would be mocking God, and the Bible says that God will not let himself be mocked.
If such a hardness could exist, it could be comparable to a progressive stage of the leprosy spoken of in the Gospel.
I spent my twenties and thirties in Korea when leprosy was common there. And three different associations I had with lepers stand out I my memory.
The first leper I knew was a boy named Gregory. I attended his wedding, then a year later I heard that terminal leprosy had separated him from his young life.
My second strong recollection of the lepers come from a day when a bishop asked me out to the mud flats where thousand of lepers made their home. What made the biggest impression on me that day was that in hearing confessions of the lepers for three hours I found that they were just ordinary people like us.
My third association I had with lepers come from the wandering beggars. With medication having halted their disease they were left with shiny skin and stubby fingers which they used to threaten people. People would rather give money than be touched.
Coming back to what the Spirit tells us about not becoming hardened, we must see that if we let it go on much further we might end up with permanent spiritual leprosy.
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