Do Not Forget What Your Eyes Have Seen - Family Reflection Video
I have had the privilege of visiting the Holy Land, driving from Egypt through the Sinai Desert all the way into Israel. That drive through the Sinai is a tough one. We have organized a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We will visit a couple of territories – Jordan, Israel, Palestine, and Egypt. The flyer is on the table just outside the chapel. During the pilgrimage, you will experience the Bible on the ground.
Today in our first reading, we hear about the Israelites when they were about to cross the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land. Life had been hard for them as slaves in Egypt. Their redemption from slavery had been challenging but a miracle that God pulled off. Traveling through the desert hadn’t been easy either – no water, no food, attacked by their enemies. God had saved them from their enemies, protected them, fed them, and here they were on the banks of the Jordan River, ready to cross into the Promised Land.
Moses sat the Israelites down as they prepared to cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land, and he offered them one last piece of counsel. He told them not to forget the things your eyes have seen done by our God in your life. Do not be forgetful. Return to these experiences often, refresh your memory, remember where God has brought you from. It was not by your power, your hard work, or your wisdom that you ended up where you are right now; rather it was because of God’s goodness to you and His love for you that you are where you are right now. Stay close to Him, be loyal, be faithful to God in the new land you are entering.
Today we are being warned about the dangers of spiritual amnesia. The problem of forgetting God, forgetting where He has brought us from, and forgetting the many things He has done in our lives. Our personal lives are living testimonies. If you go back into your life, you will find experiences that remind you that God has walked with you throughout your life. You will see vestiges of his hand in the experiences of your life.
One of the most important spiritual habits is to keep an inventory of important spiritual moments, or good mountaintop spiritual experiences in our own lives. We need to store those moments for times when we will go through a dry spiritual season. We all go through seasons when we do not feel His presence, when we cannot pray, when we cannot connect easily with God. It is times like these where we can go back into our past, retrieve some of the experiences, and relive them. Such experiences can remind us, can renew our faith, and keep us loyal to God.
In my language (Lusoga) we say, “He/she who does not remember the past, can’t give a hug to a grandmother.” If you have these memories of the days past, of how kind they were to you, how far they went for your good, you will find many reasons to give grandma a hug.
May we ask the Lord in this Mass to give us a good memory. May we ask Him to teach us the art of counting and celebrating the many blessings in our lives.
- Father Fred's inspirational homily was recorded live this morning during Mass at the Father Peyton Center. Please view the video on our Facebook page. (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)
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About Father Fred Jenga, C.S.C.
Father Fred Jenga, C.S.C. is the President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. Father Fred, a native of Uganda, has multiple degrees including theology, philosophy, and communications. His native language is Lusoga and he speaks English, Luganda, Kiswahili, and Rutooro. He has been a teacher, researcher, author and family minister. Father Fred is committed to helping build God’s masterpiece one family at a time.