Scripture: Commentary 391: Exodus 3:1-6.9-12. Psalm 103: 1-2.3-4.6-7 .
“The Lord is kind and merciful.” Moses is being formed into a leader. He
needs a special divine experience to jolt him into this so God appears to
him on Mount Horeb (Sinai) in a burning bush. God promises to be with him
in helping his people Israel to be liberated from Egypt. There is a faint
recollection of this scene in Matthew’s use of the prophetic announcement,
“Out of Egypt I have called my son.” In our liturgy we pay attention to
any thoughts that may help us to unite the first reading with the other
liturgical texts. This is good liturgical meditating though it may not be
critical exegesis which needs to be moderated more by prayer in our
liturgical reflections on texts. We have the freedom of the children of God
when we read with faith of the heart to understand where God is calling us
through these sacred messages of Moses and Jesus. Matthew uses the text
for Jesus but Moses is really the one who leads Israel, God’s beloved
people, out of Egypt. Freedom is intended both by the author of Matthew
and that of Exodus.
This shows us God’s liberating and powerful love that sustains his people
throughout their history. It is salvation history that the Bible is
revealing to us. This takes place daily for us more than we realize and it
is never announced or understood by our news we have in our newspapers.
Psalm 103 tells us why all this is happening to Moses and to us. “The Lord
is kind and merciful.” Here again we have an echo of the greatest blessing
in the Bible called the priestly blessing: “The Lord bless you and keep
you! The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord
look upon you kindly and give you peace.! So shall they invoke my name upon
the Israelites, and I shall bless them.” (Numbers 6:24-27). So we take
great consolation from what God is enacting for us out of merciful kindness
and infinite love.
Jesus permits us to look in on his own personal prayer in the Gospel. We
hear him addressing his Father and showing how he is overwhelmed at God’s
love for the lowly and the poor whom Matthew calls the “merest children.”
We are among them and are truly blessed with God’s saving actions among us
and with the eyes of faith we realize this is all God’s grace. Amen.