They complained… Why did you do this to us?

What is the matter with us?!

There are quite a few Scripture stories that are quite sobering, true wake-up calls.  The Bible is full of accounts that reflect our own attitudes and struggles, our resistance and unwillingness to fully trust, rely on, and obey God. So sad. So dangerous. Good thing God tries to woo us over and over again.

God is continuosly trying to tell us something. The First Reading for today’s Mass shows an instance in which the People of God had a choice to make: whether to trust God and His providence or trust in themselves and their own resourcefulness. This passage teaches us about reliance on God versus self-reliance; about trust in God and not ourselves; about the humility it takes to trust God and His plans, and let go of our own ideas and desires; and how, if we are to truly be His disciples, i.e., His followers and not His leaders!, we must be willing to “lay down and die” if need be, rather than live as slaves and in disobedience.

No, we are not better off when off on our own pursuits, trying to procure our well-being and our livelihood solely on own means and timeline. Let God be God is the lesson in this great Scripture passage. Let us be willing to die with God in the desert or wherever He takes us, rather than long to “live” in a state of slavery – acting contrary to and against His holy will! Be still and know that He is indeed God! 

Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time Reading – 1 Ex 14:5-18

When it was reported to the king of Egypt that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants changed their minds about them. They exclaimed, “What have we done! Why, we have released Israel from our service!” So Pharaoh made his chariots ready and mustered his soldiers— six hundred first-class chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt, with warriors on them all. So obstinate had the LORD made Pharaoh that he pursued the children of Israel even while they were marching away in triumph. The Egyptians, then, pursued them; Pharaoh’s whole army, his horses, chariots and charioteers, caught up with them as they lay encamped by the sea, at Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. Pharaoh was already near when the children of Israel looked up and saw that the Egyptians were on the march in pursuit of them. In great fright they cried out to the LORD. And they complained to Moses, “Were there no burial places in Egypt that you had to bring us out here to die in the desert? Why did you do this to us? Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Did we not tell you this in Egypt, when we said, ‘Leave us alone. Let us serve the Egyptians’? Far better for us to be the slaves of the Egyptians than to die in the desert.” But Moses answered the people, “Fear not! Stand your ground, and you will see the victory the LORD will win for you today. These Egyptians whom you see today you will never see again. The LORD himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.” Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. And you, lift up your staff and, with hand outstretched over the sea, split the sea in two, that the children of Israel may pass through it on dry land. But I will make the Egyptians so obstinate that they will go in after them. Then I will receive glory through Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots and charioteers. The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I receive glory through Pharaoh and his chariots and charioteers.”

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