I am referring to Sunday’s Reading for Father’s Day---Reading 1 Dt 8:2-3, 14b-16a
Moses said to the people:
"Remember how for forty years now the LORD, your God,
has directed all your journeying in the desert,
so as to test you by affliction
and find out whether or not it was your intention
to keep his commandments.
He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger,
and then fed you with manna,
a food unknown to you and your fathers,
in order to show you that not by bread alone does one live,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the LORD.
"Do not forget the LORD, your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
that place of slavery;
who guided you through the vast and terrible desert
with its saraph serpents and scorpions,
its parched and waterless ground;
who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock
and fed you in the desert with manna,
a food unknown to your fathers."
This is our life, our journey!! You may not see the connection to this reading, unless you like my husband and I, have been married for 40 plus years. As this reading was being read, I almost giggled out loud. Their journey is anyone’s journey in life as we live. We are afflicted with all sorts of ‘hungers’ for a better life. We struggle with the elements of this world where we can find many “varmints and sneaky snakes” waiting to lash out with lies and false hopes to lure us from happiness. God allows all as we follow our willful way to test and strengthen our faith.
Now, there are many graduating this month and many getting married too! Congratulations and best wishes for a bright tomorrow. May I suggest you realistically look at the fact that your starry eyed excitement of new life and finally entering into adulthood and ‘freedom,’ may not always be what you hoped for.
There will be the roller coaster ride with ups and downs. Life and marriage is never perfect and neither is any job. You will daily be facing choices of WHAT GOD will I serve. Will you choose to obey that call to “love as Jesus loved,” or will you grow weary of the journey and go after other ‘pleasures’ and idols hoping to find happiness in all the wrong places and ways? Will you take for granted all that God has done for you to bring you safely this far—delivering you from that which enslaved you? We never fully know what He has done daily to battle for us with the evil that tries to destroy us. Angels everywhere, hovering about with wings to cover us like the cloud that followed the Israelites. No whining and complaining now—you will regret it.
The journey to the Promise Land led by Moses---this journey is our daily journey. So, as the desert gets hot, and you get tired of the same ole same ole, what do you do? Seek that Water of Life that comes from the Rock of our salvation. Seek that daily Manna or the Body of Christ in the Eucharist for It/Him alone will sustain you on your journey. By daily prayer and listening to the Voice of God in all the burning bushes along the way---you will enter into the Promise Land of God’s Promises. You will grow closer and deeper in love with that one you married. You will be very fruitful in all your endeavors and face all the giants that come with the deep conviction that Your God will go before you and do all that He promises to do to make your life full of His Peace and Joy. Instead of going around the mountain one more time---you will climb that Holy Mountain and see the face of God and LIVE!!!
Welcome all beloved to the desert journey, and happy traveling as you grow wiser, calling upon the Holy Spirit to lead your way. Trust me beloved of God, learn from one who has gone before you ----TRUST, OBEY and don’t stray—doing things your way. I have been around that mountain too many times—striving to control my life---hanging on to ‘gods’ that definitely are as lifeless as the golden calf put together by material processions that we tend to worship. Don’t go there---God just turns up the heat until we learn our lesson. That is because He loves us and His love endures forever. He told Moses to tell the people that My Name is the I AM—and you better believe it ---He is always with you.