Reflection on the Daily Readings for 7/14/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Tue. of 15th week. Exodus 2:1-15. Psalm 69: 3,14, 30-31, 33-34.
Matthew 11:20-24. Lectionary # 390.

Moses is the central figure in Exodus and for that matter for the whole
Torah which is traditionally attributed to him. He works with God in the
inspired text and is the prophet whose spirit leads the Israelites
throughout the Torah.  Today we go back to his own origins and how he is
rescued from the waters of the Nile and brought into the realm of the
Pharaoh's daughter.  She first sees him among the reeds in a wicker basket.
He is only three months old. As a child he is adopted by the princess and
next we hear of the incident where he kills a taskmaster who is severe on
the Hebrew slaves.  He thus departs out of fear. It is in this very fast
moving narrative that we reach the manhood of Moses and his flight from the

We will see that the God of Exodus is deeply involved in human affairs and
in the history of God's people. Moses is the right person for God's prophet
and leader because of his great desire for justice and freedom. The
covenant will become renewed and demanded if they, the Israelites, are to
enjoy freedom and peace.  God is always there for them."Finally, the
religious calendar of Israel becomes transformed through the Exodus
experience. Formerly an expression of the rhythms of the seasons, the
sacred times become reinterpreted in terms of that great historical event.
They become commemorations of God's benefactions upon Israel in Egypt and
in the wilderness and are emancipated from the phenomena of nature." (Etz
Hayim, p. 316).

Actually the name Moses is in the active form and means he is the "one who
draws out" from the waters that will liberate and free the Israelites. His
name fits his future situation better than his being with the Egyptian
princess as an adopted child. This scene makes it reasonable for Christians
to identify with their baptism in whose waters they emerge as children of
God free from sin that is inherited through the troubled human race.  Our
baptism is often recalled in the liturgy of the word and at the beginning
of the Mass which we invoke in the name of the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Spirit.

The Psalm for today sings of bothe Moses and the Israelites salvation and
freedom.  We in rereading it in the light of our own salvation through
baptism recall the Resurrection Event of Jesus that also is our hope for
eternal life. The Exodus Event is the work of God among the Israelites that
is their salvation and freedom. God's liberating acts and the covenantal
commitment are seen in Moses who does everything possible for his people.

Jesus advises us to reform and convert our lives not only as individuals
but also as communities of faith. If we do not then we are likened to Tyre
and Sidon and Chorazain the towns or cities that did nor reform their lives
and behaviors. The Psalm reminds us of this need: "Turn to God in your
needs, and you will live." (Psalm 69:33). Amen.