Daily Readings for Mass.
(Liturgical Calendar for Ireland, 2019)

17 July. Wednesday, Week 15

1st Reading: Exodus 3:1-6, 9-12

Revelation to Moses at the burning bush, at Mount Horeb/Sinai

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, "I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up." When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." Then he said, "Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." He said further, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt." But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" He said, "I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain."

Responsorial:
Psalm 102:1-4, 6-7

Response: The Lord is kind and merciful.

My soul, give thanks to the Lord,
  all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
  and never forget all his blessings. (R./)

It is he who forgives all your guilt,
  who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
  who crowns you with love and compassion. (R./)

The Lord does deeds of justice,
  gives judgement for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses
  and his deeds to Israel's sons. (R./)

Gospel: Matthew 11:25-27

God reveals the mystery of salvation to those who become as simple as children.

Jesus exclaimed, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and nobody knows the Son except the Father, and nobody knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."

BIBLE

Who can be God's friends?

Today Jesus give us insight for a moment into his innermost thoughts. We are not told merely that he spent time in prayer but we hear the actual words of his prayer. Exodus tells of Moses in reverential awe as he approaches the burning bush, and it is revealed to him that God intends to liberate a new people, for the world's salvation. In Matthew, Jesus prays: "Father, Lord of heaven and earth, to you I offer praise; for what you have hidden from the learned and the clever you have revealed to the merest children."

A clear, simple knowledge of God can be grasped by children and also learned from one who is the ultimate Son of God. As Son and ultimate Messenger, Jesus knows only what his Father reveals to him; and he is commissioned to share this great knowledge with other children of God. We are continuously begotten by the Father, through faith. What is the mystery known above all to children? To know oneself as a child of God. At the deepest level of our life, God dwells within us; here we are in touch with our most profound self, our secret mission, our heavenly name, written in the book of life (Luke 10:20).

A divine mission came to Moses from the burning bush. As this call reached his soul he simply said: "Here I am." With total spontaneity, he asked to know the name and nature of God, and his request was answered, "I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob." Later God reveals his most sacred name as Yahweh, the One who is always there with you.


Open to intimacy

If we were to list what we value in life, intimate relationship would probably be top of list, along with health and life itself. Relationships and friendships are precious, and without them we could hardly get through life. In a priveleged moment, Jesus revealed the relationship in his life, his relationship with his heavenly Father. He speaks of this in terms of a mutual knowing, "no one knows the Son except the Father, and nobody knows the Father except the Son." There is a profound and unique intimacy to this relationship, but it is not a closed circle from which all others are excluded.

The marvellous thing is that we are invited and drawn into this bond between Jesus and the Father. He reveals and shares the Father with us. They seek to draw us all into their mutual relationship. As God drew Moses into a partnership through the encounter at the burning bush, the Father and the Son draw us into their mutual love, so that we can reflect that love to others. For this to happen, Our spirit must be open with the receptivity of a child, rather than closed with the self-assurance of the learned.


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