God is always a God of surprises, and He shows up in the most unexpected places and times and to the people least expecting Him.
Moses is no exception. Moses is a fugitive from justice. He escaped Egypt because Pharaoh had heard that he killed an Egyptian. In the land of Midian he met Jethro, who gave him a daughter in marriage. While Moses is working for his father-in-law as a fugitive from justice in a foreign land, God catches up with him.
On this first Sunday of Lent, God's word to us has us focus on the providence of God, and His incredible goodness to us! It is a time to focus on all that He has done for us and on all that He is for us!
In today's first reading, Moses is instructing his people to give thanks to God for all that He has done for them, beginning with their father Jacob's sojourn into Egypt with "a small household... (to live) there as an alien."
I love reading and reflecting on the word of God, because it always surfaces behaviors within me at which I would rather not look, or it disturbs an inner truce that I have worked out by laying aside uncomfortable truths. Yet I am fascinated that God's word lays bare inner lies that I have absorbed over the years.
Words affect us profoundly. Shocking are the words that break to us the news of the sudden death of a loved one. Joyous are the words announcing the birth of a nephew or niece. Life changing are the words of a judge's court sentence.
Today's first and third readings illustrate that words do have the powerto move us.
So often we seem to perceive the word of God as a series of edicts issued by God, demanding our good behavior!
Nothing could be farther from the truth. God's goodness and love are always lurking beneath and behind the text, ready to burst forth into our consciousness! Our problem is that we find it so difficult to perceive, conceive or believe that this is the kind of God we have. Today's readings are no exception.