Wally and I were invited to share a reflection on the readings for Mass this Sunday, June 7, 2020, at From His Heart, our parish blog.
What goes through your mind before a new friend stops by?
Our house is a mess! Why is the dog acting so weird? Maybe this wasn't a good idea after all…
Do you nervously text a warning to your visitor?
Sorry -- my family is extra crazy today!
Moses had a similar encounter in this Sunday's Old Testament reading. He invites God to visit the Israelites:
"...O Lord, do come along in our company…" 1
But then, perhaps some of the craziness back home comes to mind, and Moses quickly pads the invitation with a caveat:
"This is indeed a stiff-necked people…" 2
Sometimes, when we recognize our shortcomings, we might think God wouldn't want any kind of relationship with us. If we're really honest, most of us would have to admit, we are indeed a stiff-necked people.
And yet, the readings for this Holy Trinity Sunday reassure us that God wants to meet with us, whoever we are, and journey with us, wherever we are.
Moses asks the Lord to stay close, despite their shortcomings:
"… yet pardon our wickedness and sins, and receive us as your own." 3
How can I, like Moses, invite God to stay close to me?
Our Responsorial is from the book of Daniel. Three young men -- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego -- are thrown into a searing furnace to be burned alive, but God meets them in the fire and saves them. This Sunday, we echo their prayer from the furnace:
"Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne upon the cherubim,
Praiseworthy and exalted above all forever." 4
How can I, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ask God to be with me in the depths, in the hardest places of my life?
In our New Testament reading, St. Paul tells the Corinthians how to enjoy God's presence in their relationships:
"Mend your ways, encourage one another
Agree with one another, live in peace,
And the God of love and peace will be with you." 5
How can I, like the early Christians, live more in peace with others, so God will be present in my relationships?
Our reading from the Gospel of John reveals God's great desire to be with us, so much that He came as a human to live among us:
"God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him." 6
Do I think God wants to condemn everyone? Or do I, like St. John, believe that God loves us so immensely, that He sacrificed a part of himself, his own Son, to be with us?
This week, may we invite God to meet with us, in our hearts, in our hard places, in our relationships. Acknowledging our shortcomings -- we are indeed a stiff-necked people -- let's still ask the Lord, in the ancient words of Moses, to come along in our company.