The Second reading at Mass tomorrow comes from Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians. Paul reflects back on Israel’s experience of journeying through the wilderness from Egypt to the Promised Land, during the Exodus, and what Christians might learn from this.
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
The Destroyer is the destroying angel who carries out God’s punishment in Exodus, the slaying of the first-born of Egypt.
However we understand that, and however we understand the warning here, it is presented as a matter of life and death. We are offered life and urged not, instead, to choose death.
We presently make our journey through Lent, a season given us to help us consider how we make our journey through life.
- Let us notice the choices we make and the choices we refuse.
- Where are they leading us?
- What would be the best choices we could make? Why might we not make them?
- Ask the Lord to send his Spirit to help you in your following of Christ.
The Judean desert, near St George’s Monastery. (c) 2012, Allen Morris.