Mass Reading & Meditation for August 9, 2013
Meditation: Deuteronomy 4:32-40
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), Virgin and Martyr
“Did anything so great ever happen before? (Deuteronomy 4:32)”
Standing on the verge of the Promised Land, Moses urged the people of Israel to commit themselves to obeying the commandments of the Lord. But while Moses spoke urgently, he did so with a note of excitement and joy, not one of fear and threat. He spent the majority of this passage recounting all the wondrous things God had done for them. “Did a people ever hear the voice of God?” Did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself?” “He personally led you out of Egypt by his great power.” Therefore, follow him!
This is a God worth trusting and obeying, Moses said, because of all he has done for you already. He’s not a God of punishment and wrath but a God of mercy and miracles.
Moses could say the same thing to us today. So many of us are motivated by fear of punishment. So many of us obey God simply because it’s the right thing to do. But our heavenly Father wants something else. He wants us to know that the One who created the heavens and the earth lives in our hearts. He wants to remind us that he has invited us to be his own special people. Just as he delivered the Israelites from slavery by parting the Red Sea for them, he has rescued us from slavery to sin by baptizing us in his own life and love.
So follow him! Follow the One who sent his only Son to give his life for your redemption. Follow the One who gave everything so that he could win you back to his side. Follow the One who has filled you with his own Spirit and who never stops offering you his grace, his power, and his presence.
In your prayer today, make a list of things God has done in your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you remember specific moments and situations. Let these miracles—both great and small—help move you in times of temptation and doubt. You belong to the Lord of the universe. You are precious in his eyes. Why would you ever want to follow someone else!
“Thank you, Father, for drawing me to your side. I will gladly follow you because of all you have done for me.”
Psalm 77:12-16, 21; Matthew 16:24-28