Daily Reflection
March 26th, 2003
Roc O'Connor, S.J.
Theology Department and Campus Ministry
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9
Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20
Matthew 5:17-19

I am writing this reflection on the evening of Monday, March 17th, just after President Bush presented a 48-hour ultimatum to Sadaam Hussein and his sons to leave Iraq.  War seems imminent.  Perhaps peace will break out.  By the time the 26th of March dawns, we will probably be saying how we live in a different world - again.

I am so much amazed at the words of the first reading.  Take a moment, won't you, to go back to that reading and look at it in terms of today's context.  Go ahead, I'll wait. 

Would you please note the final lines of that reading from Deuteronomy?  Here it is, so you won't have to hit the "Back" button.

"However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children's children."

What is Moses saying here (through the words of the Deuteronomist)?  What have we seen?  What are we to remember?  What are we to teach to our children's children?  We are to recall how this great God came down to bring our forebears out of slavery in Egypt.  We are to recall the God who "made us his own" when we were nobodies.  We are to recall God's victory over the slave masters who went down to defeat.  God has won the day!  God will win the day!  We will remember that day at the Easter Vigil this year.

I remember hearing about the rabbinic midrash on the story from Exodus that ended with "the Egyptians lying dead on the shore" and Miriam and others leading the frenzied dance, singing of God's victory.  The story goes that God looked down and saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore.  And, God wept for these, too, were his children.

What will we remember?  What will we teach our children's children when this part of the chapter of world history has been written?  And, what will we learn about repentance this Lenten season of 2003?

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