I will send you; I will be with you

Question of the Day

To whom has God sent you?

Scriptures of the Day

Old Testament: Exodus 3:1–6, 9–12

Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian.
Leading the flock across the desert, he came to Horeb,
the mountain of God.
There an angel of the LORD appeared to him in fire
flaming out of a bush.
As he looked on, he was surprised to see that the bush,
though on fire, was not consumed.
So Moses decided,
“I must go over to look at this remarkable sight,
and see why the bush is not burned.”

When the LORD saw him coming over to look at it more closely,
God called out to him from the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
He answered, “Here I am.”
God said, “Come no nearer!
Remove the sandals from your feet,
for the place where you stand is holy ground.
I am the God of your father,” he continued,
“the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.
The cry of the children of Israel has reached me,
and I have truly noted that the Egyptians are oppressing them.
Come, now! I will send you to Pharaoh to lead my people,
the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God,
“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh
and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
He answered, “I will be with you;
and this shall be your proof that it is I who have sent you:
when you bring my people out of Egypt,
you will worship God on this very mountain.”

Responsorial Psalm: 103

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

The LORD secures justice
and the rights of all the oppressed.
He has made known his ways to Moses,
and his deeds to the children of Israel.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Gospel: Matthew 11:25–27

At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

I will be with you.

Both the OT and NT readings today speak of God revealing himself. How easy it would be to read Exodus and say, that was Moses. God revealed himself to Moses, but he would not do that for me. God had a special mission for Moses, but he does not have one for me.

In the case of Moses, God reveals himself in an extraordinary way: a bush aflame that does not burn. But who is Moses at this point in the story? He’s tending his father-in-law’s sheep — they are not even his own sheep. He had fled Pharaoh’s house, where he grew up with all the world could offer, because he killed an Egyptian. Put on Pharaoh’s Most Wanted List, Moses is now a man in hiding, no longer able to live among his own people or Pharaoh’s court. This is the man God chooses.

In the NT reading, Jesus tells us that God reveals himself to the childlike. Moses certainly must have been humbled. God knew the right timing. What Moses had to go through, how many prayers he had to say as he did his daily work. Very often our failures are our greatest assets. Too much worldly success/diversion/ entertainment can prevent us from being humble and available for God’s plans. The bush might be burning, but we are too preoccupied to notice.

The very thing the devil wants to do is sever your relationship with God. He does this in a variety of ways, such as worldly allurements, but especially by getting you to doubt—to doubt God’s love, God’s Word, his care, his presence, and your worth. The devil loves to divert you from your path of glory. How easy it is to drift away from God after committing a grave sin (or having been gravely sinned against). How easy to think that God wants nothing to do with an incredible sinner like me. Much harder it is to approach God through the ordinary means he provides in his Church (sacrament of reconciliation and Eucharist) robed in humility, gratitude, and sorrow for spurning such love.

The truth is that God desires to reveal himself to you; he wants not just an encounter, but an intimate relationship, so intimate, that he dwells within you and is with you always and everywhere. God is ready for that encounter right here, right now, exactly as you are. Do you believe that? Do you seek that encounter? Do you prepare for that encounter? And then… God desires to send you. In fact, he already has sent you—to your particular family, circle of friends and influence, your workplace, your nation.

Jesus says, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will move mountains. Our post-Christian culture is bleeding to death. People are blind and deaf and don’t even know it. They are enslaved by entertainment and experiences and things. Their souls groan, but they’ve gotten used to it. They live as if God does not exist, let alone care. Why would they pray? Who would hear and respond?

Evil reigns when good men do nothing. God called Moses. But now, today, he is calling all his baptized children. You don’t have to go to China or India. You just have to go to work or a family gathering or the school board meeting. Your mission field is where you are. As God promised Moses, so he promises us: “I will be with you.”

We are not alone; we do not go forth alone. We do nothing good by ourselves. The prerequisites are not money or physical strength or youth or political power. The prerequisites are humility and childlike trust and love.

Sometimes the mission is simple: encounter God. Because an encounter with God is transforming. May every man be able to pray Psalm 103 and say “God has pardoned my iniquities; he has healed my ills; redeemed my life from destruction; bless the Lord, O my soul! All my being, bless the Lord!” That sort of transformation is witness enough and often qualifies as a mountain moved.

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