Sunday, March 24, 2019
Today, in Mercy, we have powerful readings – they get really serious about repentance!
In our first reading, Moses has been on a kind of decades-long sabbatical on his father-in-law’s homestead. After the young glory days of Egypt, and the ensuing drama that exiled him, Moses had settled into being a humble shepherd in Midian. He probably wasn’t expecting a fiery, direct telegram from God.
But God never gives up on his plan for us. So God, divinely expert at getting our attention, conflagrates a bush right in front of Moses. Supposedly, it was not that unusual for this type of bush to spontaneously combust in the desert heat. What was unusual was for it not to be consumed by the fire.
God then delivers a message of overwhelming fidelity to Moses:
Thus shall you say to the Israelites:
The LORD, the God of your fathers,
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob,
has sent me to you.
This is my name forever;
thus am I to be remembered through all generations.
Because of God’s mercy and fidelity, the Israelites – and Moses – are getting another chance to live in covenant with God.
In our Gospel, Jesus tells his followers not to ignore such chances. He reminds his listeners that life is fragile and transitory. If we haven’t acted on God’s invitation to grace, we might lose the opportunity.
If we look back over our lives, we might realize that there have been burning bushes all over the place – times and events where life offered us a choice between grace and sin, smallness of heart, selfishness. When we chose grace, the bush kept burning and was not consumed. It lit our way to deeper covenant with God.
These final weeks of Lent offer us countless encouragements to look for God’s Fire in our hearts and to go deeper toward the Light. Let’s not ignore them.
Music: Fire of God – Craig Musseau