Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent
In the first reading of Exodus we hear the story of Moses and the Israelites. I often think of the Israelites being led out of Egypt and feel that I act the same way on my life journey. In Exodus, God does these amazing miracles, but it time they forget, wonder where God is, and turn to idols and bad behavior. While I may not act with the very same bad behavior, certainly there are parallels with my life. God has been miraculous in my life, in big ways with the miracle of the birth of my children, but also in every day ways where I feel amazed and certain of His inexplicable presence in a situation where I sought His help or His answer to a prayer. Yet despite this, how often I find myself feeling abandoned by God when life’s circumstances turn difficult or prayers seemingly go unanswered. Barely off my knees in thanksgiving, I am worried about the next issue as if God no longer was there or no longer cared.
But as much as we respond in ways similar to the Israelites, I wonder if we truthful have it a lot easier than they did. While God came to them in very powerful ways like the parting of the Red Sea, having water pour forth from a rock, or receiving manna from heaven, these events came intermittently and came through another person, Moses. We have a much greater gift. We have Christ. We don’t have to wait until we are famished or thirst greatly to receive the healing presence of God. Nor do we have to be shown God through another, like Moses. Through our relationship with God’s son, Jesus, we can be constantly fed and nourished. We don’t even have to wait for Sunday mass. We have prayer. We can attend daily mass. We have the sacraments. We have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. We have Mary who can lead us to her Son. We can even find and know Christ when we love one another in acts of service. All of this makes God much more present in our lives and can help us through life’s challenges. Our role though is not to sit back and let things happen, but to reach out in a spirit of faith to the One who can save us.
Steve Walsh is a retreatant at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center in Sierra Madre ,and a good friend of the Passionist Community.