Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Today we see one of the most famous scenes from the Old Testament when Moses encounters the presence of God in the burning bush on Mount Horeb.

July 19, 2017

Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 391

EX 3:1-6, 9-12

PS 103:1B-2, 3-4, 6-7

MT 11:25-27

Today we see one of the most famous scenes from the Old Testament when Moses encounters the presence of God in the burning bush on Mount Horeb.    In Sacred Scripture going up the mountain symbolizes going up to meet God.  The giving of the commandments, the transfiguration, the Beatitudes, the still small voice;  all of these are on mountains.  They remind us that we too are challenged with encountering God in our lives.   That’s why many Christians will talk about their ‘mountain top’ experiences.   That doesn’t mean that they actually happened on a mountain, though for some they do.   What it does mean is that at some point in their life they came face to face with God in some tangible way.

Jesus reminds us that while we don’t have to give up our reason and logic, that sometimes it requires simply reaching out with our emotions as well.   It doesn’t require giving up your desires or dreams.  God created you with all of those.   He created you to be who you are.   What it does mean is self-surrender.  It means taking off your shoes because you are finding yourself on Holy Ground.   The presence of God in the burning bush changed the very nature of the place they were in.  God required Moses to touch it with his bare feet, not to walk with soiled sandals with the grime of the world.  That calls out to us as well, we must become like children, leaving behind the burdens of the world, the dirt of the flesh so to speak, and disciplining ourselves to draw closer to God in His holy places.

We often forget that we are one of those Holy Places.   Through Baptism we are made children of God.   St. Paul describes it as God’s temple.  Do we treat our body with the reverence it deserves?  Do we avoid the things that will defile that temple?  Both physically and spiritually?  The wonderful thing about a young child is that often they will listen to the parent or grand parent when they tell them something is dangerous.   They may not understand, and they may ask lots of questions.  They trust though that this older human knows what they are talking about.  We forget that with God.   We want what we think looks good, feels good, and society tells us we should have it if we want it.  God wants us to have something better… something greater than anything the world has to offer.   Himself.   That’s why He gave us the Eucharist.  That we could receive Him every time we worship.    

How do we take off our shoes?  How do we get ready to enter the presence of God in the Eucharist?   How do we return to that innocent state of forgiven grace that we receive in our Baptism?  Confession.   If we truly believed what we say we believe about Confession, that it is an encounter with Christ where in we are restored to relationship with our Church family that we have injured by our sin, would anyone be able to get inside the door?  The line would be out into the parking lot and wrapping around the building several times.   Open your entire body, all of your faculties to God in innocence and trust, then watch as He turns you into a new burning bush for the world to see… a soul so on fire with the love of God that it radiates into the world for all to see.