19th July 2021
GOD LOVES AND CARES FOR US EVERYDAY
Exodus 14: 5-18
Psalm 15:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Matthew 12: 38-42
Some of us seem to only turn to God when we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. We tend to ask the God why He has allowed rough times to come into our lives. We fail to be open to how God has, still is, and will continue to move the rock or the hard place and allow us to experience God’s marvelous presence. Sometimes we do not realize how much God loves us.
How easy it is to fail to see God’s movement in our lives. Today’s First Reading is the familiar account of the Israelites leaving Egypt, being pursued by the Egyptians and coming to the Sea. The Israelites after leaving Egypt start to complain against Moses and God as the Egyptians follow them in hot pursuit. They want reassurance that Moses is a true leader and that he has been sent by God. They fear for their lives. They would rather have died of old age as slaves than be slaughtered in the desert. Moses chides the people for their lack of trust in God. He reminds them it was God who called them out of Egypt through mighty signs and wonders and that God will continue to take care of them through more miraculous signs and deeds. Moses encourages the Israelites and tells them not to Fear. As Christians too, when we encounter trials and difficulties of this life, we are encouraged not to fear for the Lord is always on our side and He want the best for us.
The Responsorial is also taken from the Book of Exodus and is the hymn sung by Moses and the Israelites after their crossing of the Sea and their deliverance by God. It is a song of praise of God for the mighty deeds done by God as the Israelites cross through the Sea and the Egyptians are destroyed in the Sea.
In the gospel reading, the scribes and Pharisees, though they see the miracles Jesus performs among the people, insist on asking Him for a sign if He is the Messiah. It was characteristic of the Jews that they demanded ‘signs’ from God’s messengers to authenticate their claims. Jesus makes reference to Prophet Jonah and to King Solomon. He highlights different elements of the story of both of these figures. He points to the figure of Jonah whose message of repentance were positively accepted by the Ninevites. Jesus interprets Jonah being swallowed and stayed in its belly for three days and three nights and vomited by the whale on the same place of Nineveh, as a figure of His own death and resurrection. His death and resurrection brought about the repentance of many. He offers us freedom from sin if we listen to Him.
Dear Christians, Our faith should not be based on what we want God to do for us, it should be based on what God has already done for us: God has given us human life; God has given us salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection.That does not mean that we should not present to God our needs. We should. But we should not condition our further belief or trust in God upon something that we demand God to do for us. We should be in awe of what God continually does for us, not waiting for God to fulfill our every desire. We should look at all the ways God shows the divine presence with us each and every day and thank God constantly for those signs.
There are many people nowadays who still look for a sign from God in order to confirm and strengthen their faith. They are saying, “God, give me a sign so that I may believe.” But this is a clear indication of a weak and shallow faith. The fact is, this world is already full of God’s signs. Instead of looking for signs, therefore, we should deepen and strengthen our faith so that we may fully understand God’s signs. This is what St. Augustine said: “Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.”
Today let us pray that God will give us an increase of faith that we may see clearly and understand the signs of His presence, power and love that abound in the world. May this, in turn, give us confidence and courage to face life’s trials and difficulties knowing that He is always with us until the end of the age.