After reading today's reading from Exodus I sat back and thought, "Wow, God really sounds scary in that reading!" I have never had an image of an angry God who would really consider inflicting pain on people, pain inflicted out of anger. I wonder if the readings main message is to remind us to look to God and to implore God to help us remember to be faithful to our commitment to "Love our God". To live this commitment in our daily lives we are also called to being mindful of also loving our neighbor and ourselves. Moses must have surely loved his neighbor to implore God to forgive his neighbors for their lack of living the commitment to be faithful and loving towards God, their liberator. God had liberated his chosen people from a harsh lifestyle and rather than thanking the true God they came to know through their liberation, they resort back to taking control and thinking they can go forward without considering their commitment to "Love the true God".
In the Psalm, Moses comes forth and asks God to forgive the chosen people, who have turned their backs on God. The Psalm speaks of God's enormous ability to forgive. God gave and gave and gave as a sign that they, the Israelites, were chosen people and yet once freed from the Egyptians they turn their backs on God's leadership and directions. The Psalm makes me remember the many time in my life where, in my panic, or in my anxiety I turned to God to ask for guidance and direction (much like the Israelites being captive to the Egyptians) only to forget about loving God and praising God when all is going well in my life, or even worse, to think I can handle the next crisis by myself without God's help. We know, in our hearts, that God will forgive us but what about trying to live a life of thanking and loving God.
The Gospel message initially seems to be telling me that it is
human nature to learn about the life and teachings of Jesus through
other people but we are asked to develop our own personal relationship
with God. God tells us through the words of Jesus, "to come
to me to have life." We are reminded that we learn about God
through the life of Jesus and that we develop our personal relationship
with God in community with other people who, have developed their
own personal relationship with God. We are called, as members of
the Christian community, to surely love our fellow man, as Moses
did, and to share this love and this understanding of God's directions
with our fellow men and women. But making decisions as to how to
live our lives comes through prayer and through developing our personal
relationship with God, our liberator.
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