Speak Lord: That we may remember we are remembered.

Olive Tree​The first reading at Mass today, the 3rd Sunday in Lent, speaks of God’s love and care for his people – a people who in the earlier verses of Exodus seem rather to have forgotten about God.

Moses was looking after the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law priest of Midian. He led his flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the shape of a flame of fire, coming from the middle of a bush. Moses looked; there was the bush blazing but it was not being burnt up. ‘I must go and look at this strange sight,’ Moses said, ‘and see why the bush is not burnt.’ Now the Lord saw him go forward to look, and God called to him from the middle of the bush. ‘Moses, Moses!’ he said. ‘Here I am,’ Moses answered. ‘Come no nearer,’ he said. ‘Take off your shoes, for the place on which you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your fathers,’ he said, ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this Moses covered his face, afraid to look at God.

And the Lord said, ‘I have seen the miserable state of my people in Egypt. I have heard their appeal to be free of their slave-drivers. Yes, I am well aware of their sufferings. I mean to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians and bring them up out of that land to a land rich and broad, a land where milk and honey flow, the home of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites.’

Then Moses said to God, ‘I am to go, then, to the sons of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you.” But if they ask me what his name is, what am I to tell them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I Am who I Am. This’ he added ‘is what you must say to the sons of Israel: “I Am has sent me to you.”’ And God also said to Moses, ‘You are to say to the sons of Israel: “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is my name for all time; by this name I shall be invoked for all generations to come.’

Exodus 3:1-8,13-15

There is something truly stirring about God’s promise to intervene,passionate for his people’s well being.

At the same time there is something disconcerting about the gifting of the land of others to his people….

More disconcerting yet is how such a sense of privilege again and again sours the relationship between many religious people and the rest of the world.

Our being loved should free us to love in our turn – and love especially the poor, the needy- more than it should give us a sense of entitlement and special status.

  • Pray for justice.
  • Pray for a deeper sense for hospitality toward your neighbours.

 

Not the Burning Bush, but a holy tree in a holy place. Olive Tree. Upper Room, Jerusalem. (c) 2013, Allen Morris.
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