Thursday, July 21, 2011
Exodus 19:1-2, 9-11, 16-20 (God descending on Mt.Sinai in a Cloud)
I love the image of God descending upon Mt.Sinai in fire and cloud to the sound of thunder and trumpet blast. Surely, for the people of Israel it must have been an overwhelming experience, a defining moment that would stay with them the rest of their lives. It is tempting to cry out to God with the prophet Isaiah: Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down with the mountains quaking before you! Then everyone would repent and believe in you! But what happened to the Israelites when they left Mt.Sinai? They forgot the mighty deeds of their God as soon as adversity came upon them. When Moses was too long talking with God, his people became impatient and fashioned the golden calf, a god they could handle and control. Later still they would get bored with the miraculous manna and then still later, on the verge of the promised land they would lose their nerve and turn back. But let us not be too hard on the people of Israel. Would we have done any better? God has done greater things for us then He did for them. He has saved us, not just from slavery to Pharaoh, but from the worse slavery to sin and death. Yet we too forget. We daily fashion for ourselves our own golden calves, grumble our own complaints and turn back from our own battles. St. Clare tells us that we should remember continually the mysteries of the Lord’s Passion. If we do so, our hearts will be set on fire with love, that love which endures all things. Let us go especially to the Eucharist where is the divinely instituted remembering and re-presenting of the Lord’s saving Sacrifice. There we find the Bread come down from Heaven and Jesus, the sure Way to the Promised Land of the Father.