“To me, Moses is all men grown to gigantic proportions.” ~ Charlton Heston
We dip into the Book of Exodus (2:1-15) for the second day in a row today, this on the heels of a week long sojourn through the Book of Genesis wherein the passages chosen focused on the lives of two of Scripture’s most fascinating men, Abraham and Joseph.
It is in the very early portion of this second chapter of the second book of the Old Testament that we are introduced to a young baby boy who was found floating in a papyrus basket along the river bank, discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter no less. She took great pity on him and saw to it that he would be nursed and taken care of, which he was. This young boy would grow up to become the man who became known as Moses.
If Genesis is the story of a family, Exodus would indeed then be the story of a nation. In yesterday’s passage (Exodus 1:8-14, 22), we see the nation of the children of Israel growing at such an enormous rate that Pharaoh commanded his subjects to throw into the river every boy that was born to the Hebrews. Yet from those same waters would emerge the man who would face down Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of slavery to their long awaited freedom (Exodus 14:21-31). God’s plans once again dwarf those of man. Once again we see how God engages ordinary and imperfect people to fulfill his plan of salvation.
In today’s Gospel (Matthew 11:20-24), Jesus declares judgment on the unrepentant denizens of Galilee, Chorazin and Bethsaida to be exact. It was within the confines of their borders that Jesus performed his mightiest deeds, yet their citizens remained unmoved, unrepentant and generally apathetic. The parallel to modern day lukewarm Catholics in the year 2021 should be obvious here. Through the gifts of scripture, the sacraments, our Blessed Mother, the Communion of Saints, and the Holy Spirit, which dwells in our very midst, we have been privileged to be shown the ways of Jesus’ transformative love, a love he recklessly pours out upon his children.
God will always demand change in our lives. At times it will be incredibly challenging, seemingly impossible even. But through Jesus we can respond. In fact WWC must respond. Each of us are called to be a “Modern Day Moses,” flawed for certain yet more than equipped to triumph despite how long the odds may appear to be. We are called to be salt and light in an otherwise flavorless, dark, and dreary world, where vanity and the pursuit of pleasure and things has left us drowning in despair. God's truth cries out like a voice in the wilderness, yet it falls largely on deaf ears. We cannot be like the people of Chorazin and Bethsaida, wise to God’s truth and Jesus’ love yet unrepentant, distracted and unmoved. To whom much has been given, much is expected.
Answer the call to be a Modern Day Moses. Accept Jesus’ challenge to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). Bring the Gospel Message to everyone you encounter. But as Saint John Paul II was always quick to point out, “the world is tired of our words. They want action.” Do it through your actions.
Moses was told by God Himself that the Father’s abundant blessings will only come through obedience to Him. This is why Satan has already lost; he has abandoned God’s tool of dominion, Biblical law. Over the next few weeks we will continue to journey with Moses and the Israelites by way of the Book of Exodus. As we do, I invite you to keep the following quote from noted American evangelist Dwight L, Moody in mind. He said “Moses spent forty years in the king's palace thinking that he was somebody; then he lived forty years in the wilderness finding out that without God he was a nobody; finally he spent forty more years discovering how a nobody with God can be a somebody.”
So can you.