The Lord said to Joshua, "Today I have removed the reproach of Egypt from you." After forty years of wandering in the desert, this hardheaded people have finally reached the Promised Land. No more do they eat the manna in the desert, but they partake of the fruits of their new homeland. God has kept the promise to their parents in Egypt. Even though they were a sinful people, many times questioning God and even worshiping false gods, God has forgiven them and fulfilled the promise.
The "take-away" for us is that there is no sin that is unforgivable. We may have offended our neighbors, given a bad example to someone, even worshiped the false gods of money and power. But God is a merciful God, true to the words spoken to us. God forgives all and calls us back to love.
God says to Moses, "This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you...The LORD, the God of your [ancestors], the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob" (Exodus 3:14, 15). As Jesus would later say, God is not a God of the dead, but of the living, and so we believe that the dead will one day rise. At this midpoint of Lent, we pause to consider how our repentance is leading us to the Resurrection, to our reunion with the great "I AM." Part of our repentance involves working to secure justice for all and helping our neighbor to live in God's ways. We encourage each other and nurture each other, like the compassionate gardener of today's Gospel, who tells the owner of the orchard that he will nurture the tree, fertilize it, and perhaps it will bear fruit.
It is not hard to imagine, in this age of wars, evil groups bent on the destruction of humanity, and political follies, that the words of Saint Paul were so accurate, even for his time. It seems that the world never changes. Paul says, "Many...conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is their destruction...Their minds are occupied with earthly things" (Philippians 3:18, 19). The result is the destruction of innocent people and of the Earth itself.READ MORE
In this third Sunday of our reading from the Sermon on the Plain, Jesus speaks of the inner soul and its outer expression. He uses images as he teaches.He addresses all of us.READ MORE