Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
July 23, 2019
Today, in Mercy, we read that triumphant Exodus passage in which the Israelites pass through the walled-up waters of the Red Sea. The images and exultations abound!
Here are the obvious ones:
- Sea (the agent of delivery/salvation)
- Wind (the grace of change)
- Chariots (the inevitable challenges/obstacles)
- Night (the mystery in which faith operates)
- Fiery Cloud/The Lord’s Glance (God’s intervention)
- Song (humble acknowledgement and thanksgiving)
Just as the newborn is carried through the birth canal on the waters of life, so too God’s neonate people finally begin the fullness of life promised to Abraham. God accomplishes this great “delivery” by a masterful intertwining of omnipotence, human choices, and natural phenomena. The result is breathtaking!
Just as it is in our lives!
Like any great Bible story, this one invites us to find ourselves somewhere within it. At the least, we are all making a sometimes treacherous passage through life. And at particular times, maybe even now, the threats may be intense.
At times, we stand at the edge of intimidating seas, wondering how we will make it to the other side. But if we reflect on our history, we must acknowledge that – with prayer and patience – the parting wind does come. Those “chariots” at our heels become mired in our resilience, hope and trust in God. Even through the dark night of faith, the Bright Mystery speaks to us. In moments of astounding though quiet grace, we catch the glance of God. And we sing in thanksgiving.
The glory of this magnificent reading is captured in the Exultet, sung at the Easter Vigil. You may wish to pray with it today. (sung Latin version in interesting article below)