Thursday, March 10, 2016

Place Your Hope in Me

By Beth DeCristofaro

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying, “Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with so strong a hand? … Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and how you swore to them by your own self, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky; and all this land that I promised, I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.’“ So the LORD relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people. (Exodus 32: 11, 13-14)

Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope. For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:45-47)

May God lead us along the path that leads to boundless joy through Christ who shares life with us.  Amen. (“Give us this Day: Daily Prayer for Today’s Catholic” March 2016, p. 81)

The Scribes and Pharisees challenging Jesus would certainly know the stories and lessons in Exodus well.  They must have reeled back, aghast, when Jesus declared Moses would testify against them.  Moses, their ancestor in faith and rescuer of their people, saved the fickle Israelites again and again by standing up to God and holding up God’s covenant to His divine face in their defense.  Jesus tells the leaders that they are not to be defended in the hardness of their hearts.

How can I guard against my heart slowly calcifying under boredom, neglect, complacency, false piety?  Fr. Joe, who inspired so many of us with his compassion and wise sayings, gave me words to ponder and I am grateful.  Fr. Joe reminded our 119th Women’s team in 2004 that friendship needs equality to flourish.  But how can we possibly find equality with Jesus?  He reminded us that God gave us equality by giving us His Son, Jesus.  Jesus is one of us and as one of us we are graced to hold within us a divine indwelling of Christ.  Should we accept and nourish this friendship we radiate that divine indwelling to the world.  It is against this grace, Jesus tells the temple leaders, that they hardened their hearts.    

Cursillo’s Piety, Study and Action tripod are practices to help us be more open to and channels for the divine presence but neither the Temple practices of Jesus’ time nor of ours trumps us continually opening and giving away our hearts and wills to Jesus.  As Fr. Joe asked us then to honestly consider:  “God’s friendship is an obstacle to my (what?) which I refuse to renounce?”  And “In what ways do I obstruct God’s friendship?”

May you Rest in the peace of the Lord and pray for us until the Kingdom comes, Fr. Joe McCloskey.

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