Lent Year C Sunday 3 (Exodus 3: 1-8)
One of the pastimes of those of us, who live in the chaplaincy, is looking out from on high at the many students “marching purposefully” to their next task. As one visitor put it; “they know where they are going”. I know there is at times much confusion, uncertainty and painful growth in student life but at the same time the future demands focus: the next deadline, the next exam: the first job after university.
For Christians God must always be our ultimate focus: the God of our fathers and mothers; the God of our Jewish-Christian tradition. Today’s Eucharistic Prayer reminds us of the moment towards which we are always “marching purposefully”, so to speak. It speaks of “the hour when we will stand before God, in the halls of heaven, freed at last from the wound of corruption, a new creation, thanking God for Christ’s work of redemption among us”. More than ever, modern life distracts us from our final destiny, from “where we are going”; from that moment before God and with God when all our hopes and desires will be fulfilled.
The young Moses stands before God, fascinated, brave, but not altogether at ease. Understandably he is not keen to confront Pharaoh. God, however, doesn’t want theological discussion with Moses about the divine nature. What we learn about God today is that God is gets involved. “I have heard the appeal of my people in in Egypt to be free of their slave-drivers” God want to get them to their final destination: “a land of milk and honey”
God is interested in us and our lives, as much as the Israelites. God wants to work with us on the journey now; on the next deadline, future job hopes. Lent asks for reflection and action: prayer and fasting, so that this relationship with God can grow. Working with God now offers an ever-developing, ever-lasting friendship of surprising joy; perhaps even of milk and honey now.
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Ian Tomlinson SJ