"You are damned if you do and you are damned if you don’t." You may have heard that expression. If you haven’t, there is an example of the sentiment in the reading from the Book of Exodus, in the exchange between Moses and God.
After hearing the cries of the Israelites in Egypt, it took tremendous effort to free them from 430 years of enslavement, but they wanted to go back. They wanted to enjoy the food and relative safety of life in Egypt.
But God’s intention was to lead them to true freedom. He opened a path for them when he split the red sea in two so that they could walk on dry land. They could not bring themselves to take that step into possible discomfort and a lack of security in order to begin a life of freedom.
There was something greater to be had but they did not trust Moses or God.
Fast forward to the gospel and we find Jesus like Moses urging people and telling them that there was something greater to be had, the Kingdom of God is among us, the road to eternal life is before you. But once again not everyone was convinced.
Show us. Give us a sign. Give us proof of your preaching, the scribes and Pharisees told Jesus in the gospel today.
They were like the Israelites of old.
What could he say that would convince them?
He told them the story of Jonah who spent three days in the bellow of a whale, who then preached to the people and all were converted. Jesus knew that even his death and resurrection after three days in the tomb would fall on deaf ears.
But there were those who knew and believed that something greater was to be found. The Ninevites found it. The queen of the South, a pagan for the most part, knew something greater was to be had and sought out Solomon and his wisdom.
Many people today still do not know that there is something greater that awaits them in this life. They are not ready to accept the freedom of God’s love that Jesus offers to his followers.
It is a difficult thing to take that step into possible discomfort and a lack of security in order to begin a life of freedom.
Are we ready to take that step, to seek and to find?
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About Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C.
Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C. is Chaplain at the Father Peyton Center in Easton, MA. Before coming to Holy Cross Family Ministries he served as a teacher and a parish priest. He also served for six years as a General Assistant of the Congregation in Rome, Italy. Originally from Fall River, MA, Father Leo grew up with eight siblings. Gifted with several languages, he is able to serve the Brazilian, Cape Verdean, Portuguese, Spanish and Haitian communities. When he's not greeting everyone who comes to the Father Peyton Center, you can find him regularly reading newspapers!