Thursday, July 16, 2015

You May Rest in Me

By Beth DeCristofaro

Moses, hearing the voice of the LORD from the burning bush, said to him, “When I go to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ if they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what am I to tell them?”  God replied, “I am who am.” Then he added, “This is what you shall tell the children of Israel:  I AM sent me to you.”  (Exodus 3:13-14)

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.  (Matthew 11:28)

The sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest for her young:  by your altars, O Lord of Hosts, my King and my God.  Blessed are they who dwell in your house forever singing your praise. (Communion Antiphon for the Day)

Layoffs and employment implosions are incredible. We’ve experienced both in our family. Twice my husband was let go due to corrupt employers…he would not take part in either the fraudulent behavior or the intended cover-up.  I’ve been part of two organizations which experienced melt downs resulting in drastic staff cuts. The first time we went through this our children were quite young and we were without health insurance. We were committed to being creative and mutually supportive without panic and it worked. Friends, family, church, our dentist and prayer helped us out with material and spiritual support. We ate lots of macaroni and cheese which was a favorite of our children anyway. 

Truth be told, Tony handled this much better than I did, focusing on the practical and knowing that he had made right moral decisions. My reaction was anything but meek. I was livid and indignant at the injustice of it. There were certainly moments of anxiety. But, our help truly was in the Lord as we found ourselves bearing this burden with greater ease than I expected. 

In today’s readings we meet two faces of God, both of whom are great in our lives and in the world.  “I AM” says the fierce, powerful, burning God of Moses.  God speaks in the present tense.  God is always and God meets us always.  He is within, above, beside, behind and before us when we come to a precipice.  This fierce God is in the precipice. We also meet the gentle teacher who is humble yet just as powerful, placing his Word within the Father and inviting us to enter into that relationship with Him. He makes the precipices of our lives into places of new life if we can but enter with Him.

Many of God’s friends have been “laid off” from the lives that they knew.  Moses, Abraham, Peter, Paul, St. Kateri Tekakwitha all left their comfortable lives at God’s invitation with far less than what my family had during our hard times.  Who am I when I am no longer hold a position as volunteer manager or marketing director?  How do I accept Jesus’ yoke on myself rather than rely on a cultural role?  In prayer, remember those who have lost jobs and are suffering deep hardships.

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