Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Bonaventure—Bishop and Doctor of the Church (1221-+1274) Patron Saint of Bowel Disorders
Book of Exodus 3:13-20, Psalm 105:1, 5, 8-9, 24-25, 26-27, & Matthew 11:28-30
'God Appears to Moses in Burning Bush' by Eugène Pluchart, circa 1848, in Saint Isaac's Cathedral in Saint Petersburg.
Today’s readings recount Moses’ encounter with God at the “burning bush.” Even though our encounters with God are probably less dramatic, I suspect we have all felt a little bit like Moses. We have all asked for confirmation and reassurance, particularly as we seek to act outside our comfort zones. We all have questions for God, thousands and thousands of them. Moses did not get much of an answer to his question. However, God did tell him what he would do about His concern for His chosen people and how they were treated. With God’s help, Moses leads the people out of Egypt to freedom by doing “wondrous deeds.”
Friends, signs and wonders are, well, wondrous, but they are no substitute for kind words and gestures that break into our world and interrupt our delusions of what is right and wrong. Today’s signs and wonders come to us through the scriptures, the sacraments, and our time of prayer and reflection. They also come through acts of kindness and grace, no matter how small, within our daily life in a busy world.
Matthew’s Gospel narrative provides the rest of the answer that God was not yet able to share with Moses. Our good Moses did not have the witness of the Incarnation, the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us, who was yet to come. The Lord Jesus invites us, those who are tired and worn out trying to find their way, trying to do what is right to receive deliverance. For certain, these are tender and comforting words. We may not, at times, fully understand Jesus, but we should not despair. We can learn by simply putting our faith and hope in the Lord.
Question of the Day: Will you put trust in Jesus to ease your burden and find rest for yourself?
Prayer: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord.”