Scripture: Lectionary 392. Exodus 3:11-20. Psalm 105:1.5.8-9,24-25,26-27. Matthew 11:28-30:
God reveals to Moses the mysterious “I AM WHO I AM” through a burning bush that is not consumed. Throughthis encounter of Moses with this marvelous manifestation, God further identifies the fact and says, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will go before you and you will be sent.” I am paraphrasing the thought of our passage so that we get to the mission of Moses which is to be the leader of the Israelites who will bring them through the Exodus and the forty years in the desert to the Promised Land. He will not enter, but Joshua will cross over with them into a land flowing with milk and honey.
In the short reading from the Gospel we have Jesus revealing himself to his disciples and telling them that he is gentle and humble of heart. They are to place their burdens in his care and he will lighten them. He will be with them and they will find rest and comfort in the Jesus’ loving-kindness and care.
Thus both God and Jesus are revealing themselves to us and this revelation is effective in our lives. Both are necessary and are part of the history of salvation in the progression of the narratives of the Bible.
As Christians we unite ourselves to the God who states, “I am who I am” and to Jesus who declares he is gentle and compassionate with us so that we may carry our burdens and face our sufferings with confidence that he will help us to persevere on the paths he has pointed out for our following him and walking with him daily. In recalling John’s Gospel we realize that Jesus also reveals himself through “I AM” statements throughout his Gospel.
Moses was confirmed and strengthened in his call to lead his people into freedom from Egypt. The burning bush revelation was essential to the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai (Horeb) where all Israelites were consecrated to God through the mercy and loving-kindness of God.
Jesus was most faithful to the Torah and its commandments and prescriptions and did not change one dot or small marking on the sacred text of the Torah which he came to fulfill and not replace. Matthew has already given the words of Jesus referring to this in his Sermon on the Mount. We are encouraged to see the unity of both testaments and covenants and to respect all of Scripture. This will help us to carry our burdens and crosses without being discouraged. We need to trust in God and trust in Jesus realizing their love for us through the Holy Spirit. May the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit be glorified in all hearts and in every place on planet Earth. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.