For the past 10 days or so, the first Mass reading has been from the Book of Exodus and so I’ve been reflecting on and off on the journey of the Israelites out of Egypt. What has most struck me is the extent to which the exodus experience of the Israelites is such a fitting metaphor for our own lives.

While most of us are not physically enslaved to another, all of us are unfree or bound in one way or another. We all have our chains that keep us from being totally free, totally open to God’s gifts for us. Our human journey with God is precisely a path of freedom from that bondage, a path to freedom to be fully human as God intended for us.

God invites us to take that journey and does everything possible to encourage us to make that journey, including sending a Moses to us when we need one to help guide our way.

The path to wholeness and freedom can be difficult. (“Why is this so hard,” I sometimes lament to God.) And, like the Israelites, there are times when we are tempted to turn back, to look back and think maybe the bondage wasn’t so bad after all. Maybe freedom isn’t all it is cracked up to be. Maybe we should just chuck the whole thing and go back to the way things were. But God is there for us in those moments too, helping grow our faith, our trust.

At some point, difficult as the journey is, we realize there is no other path for us than the one we are on, the path toward freedom and fullness of our humanity. That path toward oneness with God.

In the words of one of the intercessions during this period of reading from Exodus, “We are your people, destined for the heavenly Jerusalem, give us strength to go on when we grow weary of the journey.


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