Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Book of Exodus 33:7-11, 34:5b-9, 28, Psalm 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, &
Today's readings emphasize both forgiveness and consequence.
The passage from Exodus is compelling as it speaks of the conversations between Moses and God. While Moses met God "face to face," the people became weak and turned away from God and sought idols. However, it seems contradictory to me that Moses, who claimed that God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and rich in kindness, would punish four generations for the wickedness of those who came before them. It reminds me of Saint Pope John Paul II and his handling of the assassination attempt upon his life. After he recovered from his wounds, he visited the man who shot him in prison and forgave him. The would-be assassin was sentenced to life in prison. For us, I believe this is an excellent example, to understand the concept of being kind and forgiving and expecting those who sin to be held accountable.
Psalm 103 reiterated the concept of being kind and merciful. Recall the idea of how far the east is from the west in determining the span of forgiveness that is afforded to us. The loving arms of Jesus are extended on the cross for us to absolve us from all our sins.
Finally, the Gospel narrative explains the idea of those who are to be forgiven and welcomed into God's loving arms. The weeds are to be gathered and burned. There are all kinds of weeds. Some are ugly, some are prickly, and some are even poisonous. Then some weeds don't even look like weeds, which should remind us that some seeds of the Evil One can be very inviting and seemingly harmless. No matter what they appear to be, they are weeds and need to be eradicated so that they don't choke off and kill flowers, plants, and crops.
By giving us Jesus as our Savior, God the Father indeed has shown us His love and mercy and the way to salvation. We have only to recognize it and embrace it, and it is ours.
Question of the Day: Will you stand face-to-face and be destroyed as chaff, or will you reflect the Glory of God and "shine like the sun."
Prayer: Lord, the flowers and trees proclaim your goodness. Help us to grow in faith and trust during these long days of summer through our love for You and to all those we meet. Amen.