Exodus 3: 1‐6, 9‐12;
Ps 103: 1b‐2, 3‐4, 6‐7;
Mat 11: 25‐27
CONTINUOUS REVELATION OF GOD TO HUMANITY
God not only creates and provides for humanity, but also God reveals the essence of Who God is to those who respond to the gifts which God offers
Today’s reading from Exodus takes place after Moses has fled Egypt, has married a wife, and seems complacent to live out his life in the desert.
God appears in a burning bush. God calls the place “holy” because God is being revealed there. Moses is told to take off his sandals because it is “holy” ground. After experiencing the manifestation of God in the burning bush, Moses is commanded to return to Egypt and set free God’s people (the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel). Obviously, Moses is not too excited to return to the land where neither any Egyptian nor any Israelite trusts him, since he is a murderer. As we shall see in the days ahead, Moses has to be convinced to live out the implications of God’s revelation to him.
In the Gospel, Jesus speaks about the recipients of God’s revelation. It is not the self‐righteous and arrogant who will receive the revelation of God. It is the simple and humble. The greatest self‐revelation of God is in and through Jesus. The mighty and sophisticated cannot accept that God would become human and live on earth. Their understanding of the Almighty would not allow for the Omnipotent to be limited to the human condition. Yet, Jesus is the living proof that God loves humanity enough to share fully in human life, not just as creator, but as a mortal facing death. Jesus has come to reveal God as His Father. All who accept Jesus, will also accept His Father and they are drawn into a closer relationship with God, not just as creatures but as daughters and sons of God and sisters and brothers of Jesus.
As I reflect on the readings, I realize that revelation of God is much more than intellectually comprehending God or trying to figure out the divine plan. Revelation is God’s sharing life with us. First of all, God gives life, but God gives life to all animate creatures. God goes even further with mortal human beings, men and women.
God wants humans to have a relationship with the divine. Yet, being finite in nature, we cannot fully understand that. And being sinful, we are not worthy to accept that. That is why in the fullness of time, God allowed God the Son to become fully human – to walk in our sandals, to be like us in all things but sin. In Jesus’ sharing in our humanity, He is able to communicate and demonstrate God’s love in a way unknown to humans before this. Jesus reveals God as a loving Father Who is willing to give the very best to others. But Jesus revelation of Who God is does not stop there.
Jesus tells us that we can become daughters and sons of His Father and His own sisters and brothers. All we need do is accept (not necessarily fully understand) what is being revealed to us. This lifts us up to the divine level. We are empowered to become part of the family of God and to have a share in the very divine life of God. What that fully means, we cannot even begin to imagine in our limited earthly state.
Yet that is the essence of Who God is – that is the essence of God’s self‐revelation.
Obviously, this is only a glimpse of what God wants us to experience, just as the burning bush was only the first of many first‐hand experiences of what God was going to do for and through Moses. The more we take the time to meditate on this and allow ourselves to be a part of this divine revelation, the more we will come to know the majesty and wonder of God.
And we will have all eternity to continue to deepen our experience and appreciation of God’s self‐revelation. Thus, our response should be that of the psalmist today: “Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless God’s holy name; Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forgot not all God’s benefits.”