Thursday, August 11, 2011

Forgiveness -- Feast of St Clare

Although the Franciscan lectionary offers different readings for the feast of St Clare, I want to comment on the readings most of you will encounter either at mass or in your personal study.

Today, we remember Joshua and his Jewish sisters and brothers as they enter the promised land.  Once again God stops the flow of water, this time in the Jordan river, so that the community of believers can cross safely not only into a new land, but a new life.  Having wandered for forty years, they are finally "home". The joy they shared must have been overwhelming.

But I wonder how the friends of Moses felt? Were they angry, confused, hurt?  After all, it was Moses who led them out of Egypt, but he would die before entering the promised land.  Somehow it all seems unfair. In Numbers 20, Moses is upset with God. He and his people, having wandered in the desert for forty years,  are thirsty again. God hears Moses' cry and tells him to speak to the rock when he and the people are thirsty, but Moses strikes the rock twice.  Is Moses being punished for striking the rock rather than speaking to it as God told him?  Or is his fault deeper than this? Prophets like Moses are charged to speak and do exactly what God commands. No more and no less.  Moses fails God and his people by acting out of his anger and dismay.  Though Moses' punishment seems harsh, the text can be the occasion for a good question or two.

Do we lash out at one another or speak behind others backs when we are hurt or confused? Or do we pray for the grace to seek God's path for us and a just solution through open and honest conversation?  Can we share our feelings and opinions without blaming others? Are we committed to ask God for clear direction in life and then to act upon that guidance? 

Perhaps today we might ask for the grace to let go of some hurt, some resentment we might be carrying against a friend, a family member or even an enemy, especially if it is getting in the way of listening to God. Offering others forgiveness frees them and us.

1 comment:

  1. happy feast day of St. Clare, Fr. Jack! i'm enjoying your new blog!


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