Ex 3:1-6,9-12; Ps 103:1-7; Mt 11:25-27
“He crowns you with kindness and compassion.”
The kindness and compassion of Our God is the crown of glory that adorns the brow of those who bless His Holy Name. When we bless the Lord and forget not all his benefits then our lives are abundant and rich in mercy. This God pardons our iniquities, heals our ills and redeems our lives from destruction. “The Lord secures justice and the rights of all the oppressed.” This is the revelation Moses had at the burning bush that was on fire but not consumed. Moses is chosen to bear this revelation to the slaves in Egypt, and he hesitates to accept such a call. The little ones who follow the Lord Jesus are also called to bear the revelation of God’s kindness and compassion. Are we among the childlike? Do we know the Father because we know the Son who has chosen to reveal himself and his Father to us? Such intimacy is our birthright. Such intimacy changes everything.
In the everyday task of tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, Moses stumbles upon the mountain of God. He is arrested in his tracks upon the sight of a holy fire blazing on the mountainside. Fire invites us to warmth and fellowship and even food. We are attracted by fire at the same time we are repelled by fire. It burns us and is dangerous even while it lights up the night and invites us to intimacy. In the midst of this holy fire Moses hears the call of God, “remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” In this divine-human encounter Moses is commanded to remove anything that separates him from the Holy One. Stand with me in this fire and come to know who I really am. God summons his chosen one Moses to intimacy, to bear his feet and remove his protection from the mountainous terrain. Come close and trust that I will protect you from stumbling and preserve you from the flames. My holiness is more dangerous than any mountainous terrain and more transforming than any man made fire. Moses is summoned to bear the holiness of God into the halls of Pharaoh. He is called to walk into the midst of the oppressor and declare God’s freedom for the slaves Pharaoh has found so useful to his kingdom building. Neither Moses, nor any of us, could dare such a feat without the holy fire burning up our fear and revealing God’s power to save. No wonder Moses is hesitant. Who wouldn’t be hesitant.
The flame of the Holy Spirit is upon the tongue of the Lord Jesus as he prays, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things form the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.” It is the same Holy Fire that transforms our fear of rejection into the fire of testimony. We are summoned by the Lord Jesus at this Liturgy to consume the fire of the Eucharist that alone can empower our life of intimacy with the Father and His Son. It is this food of Life Eternal that sustains our everyday work of tending and feeding the sheep of His flock. Because we take off everything that separates us from the Holy One we walk in the strength of the Holy Spirit and shine bright with the glory of the children of Light.