Exodus 3:1-6, 9-12
Who finds God? The answer our scriptures give is that is that it is those who have lost much (Moses) and those who are “childlike” or as some translations say “like babies” or “mere children”.
Moses grew up in the palace of the pharaoh with all that it implies: fine clothing, social standing, education, power, and a life of security and comfort. Now he is presented to us in the lowly occupation of a shepherd of his father-in laws flocks. He is not wandering over lush green hills, but the semi-arid desert of Sinai under the blazing sun and choked with the dust and sand of that harsh land.
Jesus speaks out of his experience, the experience that the rabbis and the wise men rejected him, but the simple ordinary people of the land accepted him. In general the powerful and intellectuals had no use for him; but the poor and humble welcomed him. The most trusted of his disciples, Peter, James, and John were fishermen.
Yet it is not social class that matters, but the heart. Think of Nicodemus member of the Sanhedrin, the Roman centurion, Jairus the synagogue official, the well-to-do family of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, and Zacchaeus the chief tax-collector of Jericho. All of these had hearts that were open and ready to listen. What is the message we must hear? It is Jesus’ astonishing claim that only he can reveal the Father to us because he is the Son. If we want to see the mind of God, the heart of God, the nature of God, if we want to see God’s whole attitude toward us- Jesus says look at me!
And when we look we hear Jesus’ invitation: “..learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart…” Matthew 11:29.
Fr. Mike Hoolahan, C.P. is on the staff at Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.