Psalm 136:1, 23-24, 10-12, 13-15
Exodus 12:37-42 “…This was a night of vigil for the Lord, as he led them out of the land of Egypt…”
Psalm 136: 1, 10-15 & 23-24 “…Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his mercy endures forever; Who remembered us in our abjection,…And freed us from our foes, for his mercy endures forever…”
Matthew 12: 14-21 “…I shall place my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles...”
Let us Praise and Thank God in this moment, for today’s readings remind us of how much he loves each of us, beyond our comprehension.
The readings in Exodus all week have been so full of drama. Although it's ancient history I always enjoy reading the story of Moses leading God’s people out of Egypt. I couldn’t help but think of how much compassion and love God showed the Israelites in rescuing some six thousand people from their slavery and poverty at the hands of Pharaoh. In our readings today it says the people stayed in Egypt for 433 years. The people’s demonstration of trust is also impressive in these readings. Having spent all those generations of time in slavery, they were still taking a leap of faith to follow Moses out of their everyday known existence into the unknown. The signs God worked were impressive as well, slaying the first born of all the people and animals, except those who had followed God’s instructions to Moses and Aaron to put the blood of a year old unblemished male lamb on their doorposts and lintels. During the night of the slaughter, Pharaoh who previously would not set the Israelites free, told Moses to leave and take all of the people and their animals with him, clearing the way for the people to move, and move they did immediately.
So we see how God’s love for the Israelites, along with their trust in Him delivered the people from their miserable captivity. In our own lives can we see an example of how God might be leading us to our own personal exodus, from an existence that is familiar and therefore comfortable, but far less than ideal? As I thought about the level of trust the people displayed, I could see how I might apply this lesson to a certain situation in my own life. When you are on the edge of something really big, and you know there is no way you can handle the situation on your own, or it seems that what needs to be done only appears impossible right now; we need to completely place our trust in God. I am reminded that by practicing trusting God in the everyday hurdles, doing so allows us to cling to God with all the bigger things too.
In today’s Gospel reading in Matthew we hear how the Pharisees are growing more and more discontent with Jesus and are plotting to put him to death. Jesus intends to leave, but lays his hands on a few sick people curing them, but telling them not to tell anyone. And then the Prophet Isaiah, speaking of Jesus is quoted: “…I shall place my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles…and in His name the Gentiles will hope.” (Mt 12:18 &21) Yes, God loves us very much and Jesus came that ALL might be free. From today’s Psalm we chime in…“His mercy endures forever.”
By Deb Fortina