The Second reading at Mass on Sunday, the 3rd Sunday of Lent, drew on images of Exodus to help make sense of the newness of life won for us in Christ, but still ours to receive and live.
I want to remind you, brothers, how our fathers were all guided by a cloud above them and how they all passed through the sea. They were all baptised into Moses in this cloud and in this sea; all ate the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink, since they all drank from the spiritual rock that followed them as they went, and that rock was Christ. In spite of this, most of them failed to please God and their corpses littered the desert.
These things all happened as warnings for us, not to have the wicked lusts for forbidden things that they had. You must never complain: some of them did, and they were killed by the Destroyer.
All this happened to them as a warning, and it was written down to be a lesson for us who are living at the end of the age. The man who thinks he is safe must be careful that he does not fall.
1 Corinthians 10:1-6,10-12
There is nothing automatic about salvation. There are no restrictions on it. God does not run out of love, but sometimes, it seems, we run out of opportunity to respond to that love.
It is of that St Paul warns us, as did Jesus in the parable we heard Sunday, and the warning about our possible perishing if we do not repent and embrace the goodness of God.
God is not capricious: how we might please and delight God is very straightforward. The two commandments are love of God, and love of neighbour (love of God in neighbour?). And in fulfilling these we live to the potential of our human self, living in healthy love for ourselves.
Sacred Heart, Piarist Church, Cracow. (c) 2013, Allen Morris