Daily Reflection
July 16th, 2005

Mike Cherney

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Exodus 12:37-42
Psalm 136:1 and 23-24, 10-12, 13-15
Matthew 12:14-21

I wish life was as easy as it appears in a commercial. I wish that simply showing up with a bucket of the Colonel's chicken was enough to bring the family together at meal time. I like to plan ahead. I like to script the future. It seldom goes the way that I had imagined. In today's readings we encounter two stories that will become miraculously different as they progress.

My son leaves home for his first semester of college this fall. I would like to enjoy our last opportunities for family time together. He also recognizes how little time he has left at home, but the family is only one of his many priorities requiring attention before he moves out. I would like to be the one who determines how things will go, but the time when the dad was the ultimate authority has long passed. In spite of that, I still am far from seeing my little boy as his own independent entity. I really would like to keep him at home and under my influence. I think we see similar events in today's readings.

The Israelites and Jesus' ministry are both coming of age. They are both setting out into potentially hostile territory. There are trials and challenges in the future. I am left with asking myself, "Why is the story going this way?"

I would not have scripted it so. I cringe in the movies when I can see what is coming next and it was not that for which I had originally hoped. I am sure that the Pharaoh in the first reading and the Pharisees in the Gospel were feeling the same way, although their sentiments were certainly more vehement.

The Lord's people are not left without support. In the reading from Exodus, God's next intervention is literally on the horizon. In the Psalm and in the Gospel, the words of encouragement for those carrying the Lord into new territory are clear and to the point.

My prayer today is for trust and confidence in what is to come. I pray in thanksgiving for blessings in the past and I ask for openness to the future. I ask for the willingness to let the world unfold outside my plan. I ask for the ability to enjoy the moments of happiness and community that are along the way.

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