Forgetting the Blessings of Covenant
“these works that I perform testify on my behalf”
Today’s readings: Ex 32:7-14; Ps 106:19-23; Jn 5:31-47
Moses had gone up to Mount Sinai to receive the stone tablets of the law from God. He had only been gone about a month when the people fashioned a golden calf and began worshiping it. “At Horeb they fashioned a calf, worshiped a metal statue. They exchanged their glorious God for the image of a grass-eating bull. They forgot the God who saved them, who did great deeds in Egypt, amazing deeds in the land of Ham, fearsome deeds at the Red Sea. He would have decreed their destruction, had not Moses, the chosen leader, withstood him in the breach to turn back his destroying anger.” (Ps 106:19-23).
How easily we forget. How easily we turn our backs to God. How easily we fall into sin and evil.
God had just performed miraculous acts in Egypt and liberated a people enslaved for centuries. God miraculously saved His people by parting the Red Sea and destroying the pursuing Egyptian army. God provided miraculously for the material needs of His people in the desert. His people had experienced His power! Then God called them to the holy mountain of Sinai where He gave them His law and entered into covenant with them, amidst thunder, lightning, loud trumpet blasts, smoke, fire, and the whole mountain trembling violently. All of them trembled with fear and awe. His people had experienced His majesty!
But when Moses was delayed in coming down from the mountain, they made a golden calf and worshiped it. They exchanged their glorious God for a grass-eating bull! They forgot the God who saved them, with manifestations of great power and miracles. They “turned aside from the way (God) pointed out to them” (Ex 32:8). They were a stiff-necked people (Ex 32:9).
How about us? We have witnessed God’s power and majesty in many ways as we have served him. And God has made Himself dependent upon us in LCSC (together with other Catholics) to do His work of evangelization. We have responded and God has thus blessed us and empowered us. But we do have our infidelities. We do not fully appreciate the awesomeness of our covenant. We have not given God our all. We do not evangelize others. We are unfaithful to our prayer assemblies. We have our own idols. We pursue economic wellbeing and material pleasures. We remain in our comfort zones.
But because God loves us and raised us to do His work, and because it is in accordance with His eternal plan that LCSC continue its work of renewal until the Lord returns once again, He now calls us to task. God will not allow us to slide further into greater infidelity. And God wants to bring us to a higher plane of empowerment for the work in the years to come.
We must never forget what God has done and is doing for us. God brought us out of darkness and renewed us, transforming us in Christ. God is using us powerfully to bring His good news throughout the whole nation.
This is what our lesson for Lent today is all about. Let us repent of our unfaithfulness, let us strive to live out fully our covenant, and let us give all of ourselves to God and His work. This way, we look to God’s mercy and continued outpouring of grace upon us. “So the Lord relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.” (Ex 32:14).
Reflection/action: Recall and count all the blessings you have received since you joined the LCSC movement.
Prayer: Lord, you are such a great and wonderful God. You brought me out of darkness into your marvelous light. You poured out your mercy and grace upon me. And you even used me as an instrument to bring others back to you. Lord, may I never forget. May I always realize that without you I am nothing, and that my whole life and future are totally dependent upon you. Grant me the grace to be faithful to our covenant, and to learn how to turn my life totally over to you. And may I always give you all the glory for the work you do through me. Amen.
God bless you all.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21)