13 July, Wednesday of Week 15
Exod 3:1ff. The Lord calls to Moses from the burning bush and sends him on the mission of delivering the people Israel.
Matt 11:25ff. Jesus praises his heavenly Father for revealing the mystery of salvation to those who become as simple as children.
Instruments of God
Today’s gospel lets us eavesdrop on a secret moment of revelation, for we are not simply told that Jesus stole away to spend time in prayer; we get a rare opportunity to hear the actual words of his prayer. In Exodus we watch in awe as Moses approaches the burning bush in reverential fear, and hear the revelation that was to create a new people, for the world’s salvation. In Matthew, Jesus prays: “Father, Lord of heaven and earth, to you I offer praise; for what you have hidden from the learned and the clever you have revealed to the merest children.”
This ability is known by children and is learned from one who is “the Son.” As Son, Jesus knows only what his Father reveals within him; and he is commissioned to share this great revelation with other “children,” who are continuously begotten by God through faith. What is the mystery, known only by children, and especially by the most beloved of them, the Son who is Jesus? To know oneself as child is to realize our total dependence, our state of being begotten and receptive of life. At the deepest source of our life, God our Father dwells within us; here we are in touch with our most profound self, our secret mission, our heavenly name, written in the book of life (Luke 10:20).
Such a word was spoken to Moses from the burning bush. Because this call reached into his deepest self, he could only respond, “Here I am.” With absolute obedience and total spontaneity, he seeks to know the name and nature of God. His request is answered, “I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.” Later in the same chapter God reveals his most sacred name of Yahweh – the One who is always there with you.
But parents discipline the child whom they love (Prov 3:12). Assyria became a rod of God’s anger, to punish, correct and restore Israel to just and moral living. Yet when Assyria boasts, “By my own power I have done it,” and interferes with God’s plans, this “rod” will be tossed away. Isaiah asks, “Will the axe boast against one who hews with it? … As if a rod could wield the one who lifts it….” The lesson is to remain humble and open as a child to God’s life-giving direction. Then we can achieve creative and life-giving results, such as those accomplished by Moses, Isaiah and Jesus.
First Reading: Exodus 3:1-6, 9-12
Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.”
Gospel: Matthew 11:25-27
At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.