Today’s readings are a great way to round out our weekday Masses. In the reading from the Book of Exodus, we have a recap from Moses of all God has done for the Israelites; everything from hearing the voice of God speaking from a fire to leading them out of slavery in Egypt to overcoming mightier nations so that they may have their own land. Moses reminds them so that they will fix and know in their heart that the Lord is God of heaven and earth and that there is no other.
Last night, Fr. Willy, Fr. Leo, and I went to St. Mary’s in Mansfield for a Knights of Columbus-sponsored BBQ and family movie night. The adults watched the film, “Pray,” the life story of Venerable Patrick Peyton. Although we’ve seen the film several times, we all came away with new insights about Father Peyton’s ministry to promote family prayer, especially the Rosary.
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Here are some questions to ponder: What is the only real failure in life? What is the only real sadness in life? What is the only real tragedy in life? Think about that. So many things that we fret about, worry about, or fear, are temporary, fleeting, and not of eternal value. They are passing. The one real tragedy in life is not to be a saint.
Growing up, once in a while, I’d hear my Mom or Dad utter the words, “God help me, David.” After reflecting on today’s reading from the Book of Numbers, I’d have to imagine my parents, with countless mothers and fathers worldwide, have shared this kind of declaration-prayer along with Moses.
If you ever feel that you can’t relate to people from way back in time, all you need to do is listen to the Book of Exodus this week. On Monday, we had the Israelites second-guessing God and Moses, looking back on Egypt under Pharoah as better than their journey through the desert. Today, the Israelites are complaining about a lack of food, fondly remembering having their fill of meat and bread. To be honest, if I don’t get to eat what I’m used to and get enough of it, I start getting cranky as well. Maybe some of you can relate.
I think there’s a part of most people that can identify with the Israelites in today’s first reading. They’ve been through a lot! First in Egypt and now in the desert after a long march and facing a legion of Pharoah’s warriors, they’ve reached a breaking point. (Can you relate?) This is why they remind Moses that they asked him to leave them alone when he first told them they were about to set out for a promised land and freedom.