Scripture: Ex32,15-24,30-34; Resp. Psalm: Ps106,19-23; Gosp. Accl.: James1,18; Gospel: Mt13,31-35
Why is man consistently inconsistent? Why does man forget the deeds of God so quickly? Why does man leave the path of God, the path of righteousness, to follow his own paths and the dictates of his erroneous conscience? Why is the heart of man so full of pride? Why does man abandon the love of God to seek transient love that does not last? Why does man leave the fountain, the spring of living water to dig cisterns and wells that contain no water?
Each of us should give a personal response to these questions today as we read the word of God. We should allow the word to minister to us, to accuse us and afterwards to console us. Israel, brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand, quickly turned away from Yahweh, the God of their fathers. Moses went up the mountain to collect the law. The law was written by God Himself on tables of stone. To assure its authenticity, God Himself was the Author. God then gave it to Moses to give to the people.
Coming down, Moses heard the noise from the camps. Joshua his servant thought it was war noise but Moses who knew better told him it was the noise of singing. The people were worshipping idol! They were dancing before a molten calf, the work of their own hands. They had told Aaron to make them gods who would go before them because according to them "as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him."
The people sinned greatly against Yahweh. They gave the praise that was Yahweh's due to the image of a bull that eats grass. They forgot Yahweh who was their Saviour. They forgot the wonders He did for them in Egypt. Moses pleaded for the people. Yahweh relented in His anger but promised that in the day when He visited, He would visit their sin upon them.
The chosen people forgot God who loved them with more than a father's love, who preferred them without any merit of their own. They almost missed heaven as a result. Many would perish in the wilderness as a result of this folly. Sin, we know, has the capacity to lock us out of the kingdom. Our Lord compared the kingdom today to a grain of mustard seed and leaven. It takes a lot of effort to notice both of these two because of their small and insignificant nature. But they turn out to become important and indispensable.
The kingdom must be our goal. We must strive to keep ourselves away from all that hinder our journey towards this goal. St. Ignatius of Loyola, whose memorial we celebrate today, led a very turbulent life. He was a soldier, got wounded in battle and it was during his time of recovery that he turned his life over to Christ. He became a master of the inner life with his Spiritual Exercises. His life has continued to influence generations of believers even to our own day. May he assist us to fully convert to Christ and be worthy disciples of the Master.
Let us pray: "O God, who raised up Saint Ignatius of Loyola in your Church to further the glory of your name, grant that, by his help, we may imitate him in fighting the good fight on earth and merit to receive with him a crown in heaven." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.