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If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.-- Psalm 95:8
Mass readings: Hebrews 3:7-14 / Mark 1:40-45
Today's first reading says ''encourage yourselves daily'' to avoid being ''hardened by the deceit of sin'' (Hebrews 3:14). I picture the early believers who read this as encouraging each other. There is strength in numbers. Focusing on others protects us from the deceptive negativity that drags us down when we isolate ourselves.
I once accepted an invitation to a party but when the day came I felt discouraged and self-absorbed and didn't want to go. Reluctantly, I went anyway. Driving there, I recalled hearing somewhere that ''if you're not going to have a good time anyway, you might as well be useful and see if you can help others enjoy themselves.'' I gave it a shot. After an hour or so of focusing on others, I noticed that my own mood had lightened.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, protect us from the demoralization that stems from isolation.
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