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Because of the hardness of the heart...

Jesus continues to do school on the way, public and private school and now reaches present-day Jordan, on the other side of the Jordan River where John the Baptist preached and baptized. Now Jesus is there and the crowd is gathering to listen to the Teacher from Galilee, and he "began to teach them as he normally did."

This is the geographical framework introduced in which the evangelist Mark situates the meeting between Jesus and some Pharisees. The other side of the Jordan is a very important place in the Hebrew tradition of the Old Testament, it is the place where great prophets meet in this semi-desert landscape, Moses sees the promised land from there, Elijah lived and from there he is taken in a carriage fire to heaven with God, John the Baptist, also a Hebrew prophet and OT baptizes and preaches the coming of the Messiah. 

Now is the time of Jesus. It is there, on the other side of the Jordan and the people and some Pharisees are there, in that natural place and in any way sacred. The place is semi-desert, there are trees and abundant vegetation because the drinking water, although it is semi-salty due to its proximity to the Dead Sea, a territory full of mineral salts, there are caves where you can spend the night in a cold desert at night and a hot desert during the day, and In the silence that reigns, a new voice in the desert makes itself heard, no longer that of the AT, the new voice, the voice of the prophet from Galilee who comes to break the silence of the desert.

The desert, as the biblical tradition reminds us, is the place of testing, and there, that particular group of Pharisees asks but to put it to the test.

The question in its content is difficult because difficult is the matter, marriage, the conjugal pact: "Is it lawful for a man to repudiate his wife?", nothing more and nothing less. But Jesus knows how to discern well and distinguishes the type of question, he knows that it is a test and cunningly answers nothing more and nothing less than with another question..., the smart boy:

"What thing did Moses command?" Moses is the authority that emanated that law and implies obligation in the event that it is required to attend to it. Yes, this is what the most authoritative voice of the desert has spoken: Moses allowed an act to be written, a document of repudiation biblion apostasiu (βιβλίον ἀποστασίου), which has the consequence or purpose of divorcing apoliuo (ἀπολύω), separating from what one was attached to.

This is "the bank on the other side of the Jordan", that is, the western bank of the river from present-day Jordan where John the Baptist baptized, where Elijah was taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot,

from that side of the Jordan Moses made the promised land

and probably from where Jesus preached on this occasion.

“In those who proceed from good to better, the good angel (he refers to the good God) touches sweetly, lightly and softly, like a drop of water that enters a sponge; and the bad one plays sharply and with sound and restlessness, as when a drop of water falls on a stone..." (Exercises, no. 335)

How do I feel my heart before the Lord?

Like a sponge or like a stone?

Because the claim of the Lord is there latent, waiting for me to be able to soak up his sweetness of his goodness of himself, becoming one with me, because Love cannot bear lukewarmness in the words of the apocalypse (Ap 3,16) or hardness... in words of the Master in the desert, is the deepest claim of love: "Tell me, how is your love in my love?" as a Latin American artist sings:

"And tell me how my love is in your love...

Cold, cold like river water

Or hot like fountain water

Warm, warm like a silent kiss

And it lights up if you want it"

Yes, the word of the Creator resonates throughout the earth, it has the power to create but it requires a child's heart, tender enough to welcome him and his words. No one has ever said that the marriage alliance, committed interpersonal relationships at any level are easy. But sometimes, due to the difficulty of living them, we prefer to turn a deaf ear to that inner voice, to the deep and divine law written in our hearts and build those that suit us according to our interests, those that avoid us the fatigue of committing ourselves to the bottom with life, with suffering, with solidarity.

It is from this that we are invited to divorce, above all, from that which has always threatened humanity and which the Holy Father Francis evokes so much: the throwaway culture, that which sees discarding as the first, quick and sufficient solution to everything that implies an option to assume the complex reality that is presented to us in life and in love, be it the conjugal alliance, be it the life of a new being desired or not, be it the life of an old man who is in the prime of old age or a terminally ill or a psychiatric patient at home etc., etc., etc.

But we forget that we cannot be alone, that without the love of the Lord every day in our hearts is impossible, we need an intimate and very personal friendship with Jesus, with our Father God, with the Spirit of Love, where we feel at home. , welcomed in our miseries, understood and renewed, only in this way can we root out the terrible disease that the Gospel detects: sclerocardia (σκληροκαρδία), hardened heart (Mc 10,5) but without a serious personal and sincere prayer, this disease will end up turning us into men and women of stone, inflexible, rigid, without feelings or decisions according to the heart of God or on the contrary, men and women with the heart of God that never stops loving, feeding, believing, hoping, dreaming, laughing

The Lord gave me to be born in the bosom of a marvelous couple, committed forever in a matrimonial alliance like any couple who marries with the blessing of God, with the hope of starting a family. My father did not have it easy, he came from a truly broken family, he had to work since he was 7 years old... and my mother from a more serene home but for a short time... Where was the difference? They realized that ALONE, they could not, that conjugal love without the continuous presence of the Lord, not only at the wedding, but on a day-to-day basis, could not reach the goal.

They opened up like a sponge to the Lord and from that recreation a common project was born between them that lasted thirty years, when the Lord called my Father to his presence at the age of 56. From them I learned how the Lord's love is for my life, as a father, mother, husband, life partner, provider, protector, encourager, etc., etc., etc., and I learned how to give myself completely to the Lord when I saw them. 5 in the morning in front of the tabernacle in prayer; I learned what it means to be faithful to a project and a person beyond difficulties; I learned that the Lord is everything and to give everything to him with great affection; I learned forgiveness and not holding grudges and not going to sleep without first kissing them goodnight, also as a sign of reconciliation between them and with us... I learned... I learned... I learned...

We are invited by Good Creator God and Father, Jesus invites us to create homes where one lives and works to grow integrally; where they have an essential place in the home; where the fundamental daily options of love are not NEGLECTED that does not lead us to the unfortunate urgent resources of inevitable ruptures.

It invites us to discern the decisions, the laws, the precepts that today touch life to the point of questioning it, already touch the essential commandments of divine law as you will not kill, which today are justified and even claimed as a right.

Jesus invites us to allow God's plan and project to enter the depths of our conscience, to abandon the hardness of heart that prefers to kill instead of dying for love, that it prefers to abandon instead of accepting, that it puts in the center and rejects the little and needy. Renew me Lord Jesus so that I can enter into the logic of the little one, of the child who always believes, hopes and loves. That is why this Sunday's gospel concludes by saying that Jesus was indignant with the disciples! because the children approached him but they forbade it: "Don't stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to whoever is like them."

Lord, may I be able to recognize my harshness, those that are born from my wounds, or from my impotence, or from my sin! The ones that make me capable of abandoning or backing down on my daily commitments, the ones that I set with you.

That I can no longer abandon the plan and project that in the depths of my conscience you whisper to me every day! May your voice break the silence of my desert so that I continue to believe in your plan and project!

Lord, may your love in my love break my coldness and hardness so that I enter into the logic of tenderness!

Renew me Lord Jesus I no longer want to be the same and put your heart in me!

May my heart beat to the rhythm of yours!

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