Mass Reading & Meditation for July 15, 2013
Meditation: Psalm 124:1-8
Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
“Blessed is the Lord, who did not leave us.” (Psalm 124:6)
Things certainly looked dark for the Israelites. A clan that had once been treated as close to royalty as possible, the children of Jacob were now slaves in Egypt, forced into back-breaking toil. Pharaoh was even taking steps to wipe them out by killing their male children. What grounds could the people possibly have for hope?
Appearing in the desert, God gave Moses a very simple message for his people: I am with you. “I have come down to rescue you” (Exodus 3:8), he told them. Now, this was just a message, little more than a promise. God didn’t save them right away. Their terrible circumstances didn’t change overnight. The same threats and dangers remained for quite some time, so they had to believe and hope.
And yet things were vastly different. Now they knew that God was with them. He had heard their cry, and he was setting events in motion that would bring about their deliverance.
Sometimes when darkness seems to surround us, we can feel overwhelmed and without any hope. Caught up in our challenges, we risk losing sight of the big picture. In the name of being realistic, we surrender to despair. But God is with us.
Yes, a diagnosis of terminal illness is a crushing blow. Yes, a prison sentence is foreboding. Yes, losing a job puts your whole life and the welfare of your family in jeopardy. Yes, a rupture in the family is wrenching, devastating. Without God, we are at the mercy of so many hostile or indifferent forces. But God is with us.
No matter who you are, no matter what you have done, no matter what you are facing, God loves you. Our faithful, miracle-working God has a plan for your life and the lives of those you love. When we lose sight of this reality, we don’t have the true picture. Everything gets out of focus. So always remember that whatever the reality of your present situation, there is always reason to trust in God. As he showed the Israelites through Moses, our God will never let us down.
“Almighty God, your love is more powerful than every evil in my life. I cast myself on your great mercy.”
Exodus 1:8-14, 22; Matthew 10:34–11:1