Discernment: In today’s first reading, Zephaniah 3: 1-2, 9-13, the prophet Zephaniah issues a warning to us, saying: “Woe to the city, rebellious and polluted, to the tyrannical city! She hears no voice, accepts no correction; in the Lord she has not trusted, to her God she has not drawn near. For then will I change and purify the lips of the peoples, that they all may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one accord; from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia and as far as the recesses of the North, they shall bring me offerings.”
Zephaniah tells us that on the day “that the Lord will change and purify the lips of the people, that they may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one accord… [we] need not be ashamed of all your deeds, your rebellious actions against me; for then will I remove from your midst the proud braggarts, and you shall no longer exalt yourself on my holy mountain. But I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly, who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord.”
What do we learn about discernment from this passage? We learn to discern whether or not we are drawing closer to the Lord. If we are journeying in the right direction, we are becoming more honest with ourselves and others. We are also more open to correction. We are taking steps to deepen our intimacy with the Lord: spending time in personal prayer, communing with the Lord honestly, taking our concerns to the Lord, not pretending that we are content, when we are not; not pretending that we are not worried, when we are; not pretending that we do not need any help, when we do and so on! If we are on the right path, we take time to call upon the Lord in all the circumstances of our lives. We bring our offerings to the Lord: all that is good within us and all that is not so good; all that is good in the world and all that is not good; all that is good in the lives of our families, our friends, our companions and all that is not so good.
May you grow in this kind of discernment and in ways that deepen your discerning heart and mind and will!