March 24 - The Burning Bush
Mar 23, 2019
*Today's readings are taken from Year C for our parish as we don't have anyone being baptized at the Easter Vigil this year. However, it would be Fr. Dan's decision if he wanted to read the scriptures from Year A which would be the story of the Woman at the Well.
Scripture: It is not just me, but it is the season of Lent that continuously repeats themes. I love the story of the Burning Bush, it always amazed me. I would be so gloriously amused if the date of that encounter was Dec. 25 by our calendar and the tree was a Christmas Tree with white lights. Moses being oblivious to electricity would assume it was fire but the tree would not be consumed. But I digress. In this story we are reminded that God is not oblivious to the call of the suffering. God does not need to get involved, he chooses to get involved. God sends Moses to deliver his people from evil. We must always be on guard against evil, repent and seek mercy when we sin. For in the Gospel we hear Christ's parable of the fruit tree. The ax is looming for you and I, when there is a fruitless tree, God nurtures the soil and fertilizes. This way no one can say it was poor soil, not even sun, not enough water; Rather the fruit did not grow because the tree itself has failed to produce according to its nature. The first command given to humanity was, "Be fruitful and multiply." We ought to consider that in prayer.
Core Principle of Faith: Saint Pope John Paul II said that we live in culture of death. I would argue that 2000 years of Christianity has tampered that down, but we are seeing a resurgence in the spirit of death in our culture. The church is pro-life precisely because of God's command, "Be fruitful and multiply." Yet the very first death ever recorded in the Judeo Christian Tradition was a fratricide, a murder, where Cain killed his brother. Not to switch scriptures for today, but read the conversation that God had with Cain in Genesis before he killed his brother. Tell me if they do not remind you of Christ's word? There is a host of people that want to practice "population control" and have taken stances on abortion and euthanasia contrary to the gospel. People have been sacrificing their own children to the false God Molech for several thousand years. The promise is easy, kill the person, I'll make life return to "normal." Or "I'll set the person free from pain." The promise of Molech is often kept in the short term, but the hidden cost haunts people and lingers. As Catholics we need to rely on God and his providence.
Living this at Home: Where there is life, there is always intended to be compassion. Death is merciless. We ought to treat others with respect and compassion. Though the Church holds a strict moral code for its participants, that code (law) is powerless to hold a person to punitive justice when God delivers mercy and compassion for the sinner. Therefore, great care should be given that every act of fraternal correction be done with a heart towards helping a sinner find greater joy in righteous than sin. When we admonish sin in another it should be done with great care for the person's soul. At the same time, we should not say nothing about sin, though mercy can free us from the binds of the law, every violation of the law is selfish and an unloving act. Speak out firmly against sin, admonish the sinner, instruct the ignorant, but most of all deal in compassion and mercy. In the other readings today is the woman at the well, she is quite the sinner by Jewish standards, an unfruitful tree. Yet, Christ she encountered God, who met her with compassion and mercy, and she became the first evangelist to help others find the living water of God's Holy Spirit of righteousness and truth. Just as the fire didn't burn the bush, so the Holy Spirit burns bright in us.
Note: I may not have articulated this well, but it is more than "be nice." We have to echo the Lord, by saying "Go and sin no more." But also be the comforter promised when we are encountering those who are filled with guilt and remorse and sadness.