24th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Let’s not forget!

 

How easy it is to forget, isn’t it!?  My parents would constantly tell me something or ask me to do something when I was younger and then, for whatever reason…usually because I didn’t want to remember…I would exclaim “I’m sorry, I forgot!”  In today’s first reading that we read from Exodus on this 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, we encounter the Israelites who simply have forgotten all that God had accomplished for them.  They have now been released from the bondage of slavery in Egypt; Moses has parted the Red Sea so that they could pass through with a wall of water to their right and their left; they have witnessed the mighty power of God as He has instructed Moses to use the same staff that he had used to part the sea to bring the water back to its’ normal flow which caused the Egyptians to drown, thus saving the Israelites.  God has even been feeding them after they started grumbling complaining that their way of life was better in Egypt when they had food to eat even though they were oppressed by Pharaoh.  In this section of Exodus, we encounter Moses who is on Mount Sinai waiting as God prepares the Ten Commandments.  As Moses awaits the tablets, the Israelites forget, yet again, all that the Lord has done for them.  They fashion a molten calf and call it their god.  The Lord knows the actions of the Israelites and sends Moses back down the Mountain to reprimand the stubborn Israelites for becoming a stiff-necked people.  It is Moses who expresses outrage as he throws the stone tablets on the ground breaking them into pieces.  God had accomplished so much good for the Israelites but in their stubbornness of heart they didn’t seem to want to remember.  Perhaps it was a generational thing meaning that they were in the desert for a long time (forty years) and so as time passes, the people had forgotten the marvelous actions the Lord had accomplished for them.  The same can be sometimes said of us, if we are honest with ourselves.  Jesus lived a very long time ago.  Over the some 2000 years since He walked the earth healing the sick, forgiving sins, restoring sight to the blind and spreading a message of hope, we can sometimes seem far-removed from what He accomplished not just for those who experienced His mercy but for what He does for us each and every time we turn to Him for help and guidance and reassurance.  Jesus, we must remember, isn’t just an historical figure: He remains with his Church now and until the end of time.  This we must never forget!  As we go about our daily lives, spreading the Gospel; being messengers of the new evangelization that Pope Francis has called each of us to be, might we remember that Jesus walks with us and enables us to testify that He is the King of Peace.  Let’s never forget!

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