September 6, 2020
God continues to speak to us and calls us to unite with Him in heaven. We must follow Jesus, our shepherd, to lead us through this mysterious exodus to our place of inheritance.
- In the chaos and lost meaning to LIFE, we must come back to the words of God through the richness of the readings to illuminate the mystery of life.
- God doesn’t want to leave us in the oppressive world so he calls us to someplace new – His promised land.
- Abraham is our examples of faith and obedience when being called from this journey to our final destination.
- God wants us to know that this life has a goal. Our life is a journey to that goal and that this life is hard and difficult.
- Paul says the Holy Spirit is renewing us every day and is preparing us for an eternal wait for glory beyond our comprehension.
There are many different opinions about life in this world, people are confused and get discouraged. God gives us very simple truths which illuminates the mystery of what seems to be chaos in our life, so it is very valuable to come back to the word of God in the richness of the readings to make sense of our life in this world.
In Psalm 95, “If today you hear His voice” simply tells us God will show us the way, we just need to listen and have a true sense of what this life is about. We are on a journey…a journey to heaven…an Exodus, as the Israelites being led out of Egypt into the desert, we are on a journey being led out of this life to heaven. Listening to God shows us how to make sense of this life with all the chaos and trouble we endure here, but realizing we are on a journey and will lead us to our heavenly dwelling, our final destination.
“If today you hear His voice,” – sometimes life doesn’t seem to make much sense – it is hard to know what is going on and hard to understand it – people have a lot of different opinions about what life is or what life means – it often seems chaotic – some people think it doesn’t have any meaning – it doesn’t lead to anything – after this life that is it – intelligent people have even speculated, if this life is one big advanced computer simulation – others see this life as basically a fight for money and power – these different ideas about what life is have huge consequences – between attitude of Joseph Stalin or Mother Theresa – it is very helpful to have a true sense of what this life about – the Psalm response today is, Psalm 95 “ If today you hear His voice”- God’s word gives us very simple truths, but which illuminate the mystery of what seems to be chaos in our lives – even those of us that have heard these truths, we can forget them in all of the agitation of our life – so it is very valuable to come back to the word of God – in the richness of the readings there are some parts that are hidden – it is helpful to focus on those – Psalm 95…what is it referring to – it says, “Oh that today you would listen to His voice. Harden not your hearts as at Meribah as on that day at Massah in the desert, when your forbearers put me to the test, when they tried me, though they had seen my works” – Meribah and Massah are places where the Hebrews were in the desert – talking about the Exodus journey through the desert – this is from the Old Testament , but the Letters to the Hebrews in the New Testament comments precisely on this Psalm – one of the interesting things in this Psalm in this passage through Exodus has a meaning for us – the true history of Exodus is also God giving us an example, which has a meaning for us – in the Letter to the Hebrews it translates this Psalm a little differently – it says, “ Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says today, when you hear His voice” – it means God is continuing to speak to us – what is the Lord wanting to teach us through this history of Exodus – remember the situation they started in…the people were under the oppression of an evil brutal system – today, that is also our situation – but the oppression is more subtle – in so many ways satan and the whole system of sin that he set up is oppressing us – St. John says the whole world is in the power of the evil one – we don’t realize how this power of evil affects all the different aspects of our world oppressing us – so with this voice…when today you hear His voice – what is that voice – it is God calling His people out to someplace new – He doesn’t want to leave us in this oppression – calling us to someplace new, so that is one of the main lessons of Exodus – our life has a goal and a goal which is beyond this life – the promise land of Exodus is an example of the promise God has given us – but which is mysterious to us – we have never been there – it is hard to believe, it is so different from this life – we need someone who has been there to come back to tell us about it and to show us how to get there – that is why Jesus is our shepherd who has come to lead us in this Exodus – so this makes a huge difference, because now we realize this life isn’t just the end – this life is an opportunity to go someplace – so an Exodus is a journey out – the Lord is calling us on a journey out – before Exodus there was Abraham…by faith Abraham obeyed, when he was called to go out – what was God calling Abraham to do – God was calling him out – so God is calling us out – so God was calling Abraham out to a place he was to receive as an inheritance – Abraham went out – not knowing where he was to go – that is our situation too – we don’t know what heaven is like – we have faith, but it is still mysterious to us – how often do we think of heaven – where is your to do list to go to heaven – it is the whole reason for our life, but we easily lose sight of it – so it says Abraham and his family acknowledged they were strangers on this earth – strangers and exiles on this earth – strangers and exiles…we don’t fit here – if we listen to God, we don’t fit here – they are seeking a homeland a better country…that is a heavenly one – they are looking for something better – that is what God is calling us to…something better – so this life is not our destination – it is our journey – so that is important and changes our whole focus – so for instance if our focus is just making this life as comfortable as possible like building a big house…we lose sight that we aren’t going to be here that long – if this life is about getting some place then the lighter our pack is the better – so much of life when we are trying to grab onto things, God is teaching us to let go – one lesson is this life has a goal and the other lesson is this life is a journey to that goal – a third lesson is this life is hard – it didn’t say the Israelites were walking through this beautiful, lush garden – it was a barren desert – they were afraid to go into it…this is worse than Egypt, so it wasn’t an easy journey – this life is a difficult journey – the Israelites were always panicking and wanted to turn back – the journey God is calling us to is not a – comfortable journey – knowing this prepares us not to be discouraged – example of marriage…if it is seen as a destination, then people become very disappointed, because it is not perfect, but if marriage is seen as a path to heaven, then it is very different and our expectations are very different – we are not expecting marriage to fill my heart, we are expecting it to form my heart, and sacrificial love, so we arrive together in heaven – the difference between a destination and a journey – marriage is not a destination, it is a path – the trials on this path are part of our formation – St. Paul says to the Corinthians, so that we do not lose heart – it is easy today to get discouraged and lose heart – St. Paul says though our outer man is wasting away – he says our inner man is being renewed every day – our outer man is often what we are aware of – our inner man is much more mysterious – what the Holy Spirit is doing in our hearts is much more hidden – St. Paul goes on…for this slight momentary affliction…it doesn’t feel slight or momentary to us – it feels very heavy and long – he says it is preparing for us an eternal wait for glory beyond all comparison – so it is light and momentary compared to what we are waiting for – there is nothing that permits us to understand the eternal wait of glory – he says…we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen…that is very difficult – that is what we need faith for – things that are seen are passing…things that are unseen are eternal – for if we know that the earthly tent we live in ( a tent is made for people on a journey) is destroyed, we have a building from God…a house not made with hands…eternal heavens – our whole situation on this earth is our little tent – and God is preparing us a home – St. Paul says, “ Here indeed we’ve grown and long to put on our heavenly dwelling – St. Paul is realistic of how hard it is, but is full of Divine hope – this light of Exodus strengthens us in Divine hope – hope is something we need so much, today – Divine hope is what we need as things get harder to get us through – in this Mass we ask our Blessed Mother to help us – as the Psalm says, “When today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” – open our hearts to the Lord who is leading us home.