Sunday March 11, 2007     Third Sunday in Lent
Readings:                           Exodus 3:1-8,13-15 Psalm 103: 1-2,3-4,6-7,8,11
                                            !Corinthians 10: 1-6, 10-12 LUKE 13: 1-9
Moses is a fugitive from the Egyptian Pharaoh for murdering one of his henchmen. He escaped and has lived with his father-in-law Jethroe, a priest of Midian. While tending his father-in-law’s herd, he comes across an amazing sight; a bush burning in the desert, while remaining unconsumed! I defy anyone, spying such a phenomena , to just saunter off without inspecting it more closely!
Moses’ curiosity got him in touch with God! Imagine your reaction if you’re ‘on –the- lam’ and someone, anyone, tells you you’re to go to the guy you’re hiding from and confront him with a request to release a bunch of slaves so they could go out and worship their God.
I’d want to know more than His name! I’d want His social security number. Bank account and His ATM pin number, too.
So God gave him what he wanted to hear.
Although Pharaoh worshiped other gods, maybe he was familiar with the term YAHWEH. At any rate when Moses later goes to Pharaoh to demand the Israelite release, we know Moses’ request was laughed to scorn..
The Psalmist doesn’t sing a dirge in this situation. He proclaims and claims God’s mercifulness and kindness. Even though the clouds look dim, if we remember God’s hand is in everything, we will be at ease in any situation we find ourselves.
Paul’s community in Corinth received personal teaching from the most noted convert from Judaism. He knew the Torah intimately. As one who studied the Targums of the great Rabbis of his time, Paul connects the passing through the sea as a symbol of Baptism, the necessary ingredient for salvation. He also reminds them, who were unfamiliar with the Torah, of the other miracles God performed for His people to feed them and slake their thirst. Here Paul gives the title “ROCK” to Jesus, prefiguring the perpetual water flowing from the side of our crucified redeemer. Paul closes this section of his letter with the warning to “Look Out”, temptation is behind every “feel-good” proposal. Be on your guard!
This Gospel periscope has stunned me for years. What possible good can come from spading, manuring, and watering a dead plant.
When we are dead in sin, getting up the courage to go to a priest and confess our sins relates to the spading. His absolution freeing us from the burden of sin is the manuring and the Penance we are given and do, waters and nurtures us until we can partake of the sacred species and have new life.
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