First Reading: Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 103
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-6
Gospel: Luke 13:1-9
In the first reading, Moses was shocked at the sight of a Burning Bush in the distance. His curiosity brought him nearer to the bush. But God warned him not to come any closer. Then God told him that he was to lead the Israelites out of slavery. As you read on in Exodus, Moses did what God told him and confronts the ruler of Egypt and leads them away from the city. During the journey there was much grumbling from the Israelites even though they were being saved. As I read about this movement out of Israel, I thought of those fleeing from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador with hope of safety. I ask myself these questions: Did they leave at the inspiration of God to flee gangs, drugs, corruption, and poverty? Is this God’s way of saving them? Do they grumble? Of course they do – think of their journey, especially if they have children. Remember, these people are fleeing, they are not just migrating. They are not coming on vacation. Even though it is very difficult, many send their children alone to help them escape the horrors of their lives. Does God inspire those who help them along the way? Those who meet them at the border? Intercede for them when they get across the border? It is my belief that God is in all of this! People who help them have heard the cry of the poor, have heard the cry of those who are made to the image and likeness of God which makes them worthy of respect.
In the Gospel we hear about the fig tree and the owner asking the gardener to cut it down because it is not producing. But the gardener asks him to leave it for one more year– some more time to produce. I believe that those who are standing in the way of the wall, who are advocates for those fleeing, is God’s way of telling us that it is wrong for us to persecute and make allegations against those who are looking for safety. Perhaps like giving the fig tree more time, God is giving those who are fleeing more time for us to come up with a better solution. Perhaps the fig tree will grow next year! The nature of a fig tree is to grow healthy and strong and bear sweet fruit. Perhaps our brothers and sisters who are fleeing to us for help will grow healthy and strong and be assets to our country.
Prayer over the people:
Direct, O God, we pray the hearts of your faithful, and in your kindness grant your servants this grace: that, abiding in the love of you and their neighbor they may fulfill the whole of your commands. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Marge Wissman, OSF