WEDNESDAY, FIFTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Ex 3:1-6,9-12; Ps 103:1-4,6-7; Mt 11:25-27
UNCONSUMING AND BEAUTIFYING FIRE
Fire is always mysterious; it is dangerous, both destructive and constructive, bright, tenacious and uncontrollable; fire can never be mastered. The natural property of fire is to burn or consume anything that comes in contact with it. But in the first reading the bush is on fire and yet is not consumed but is made brilliantly radiant and beautiful. The normal human reaction to fire is fear but Moses is drawn to it. He is drawn to it by its beauty. This fire is a brilliant image for God, who uses it to reveal himself to Moses.
God is a fire, but not a destructive fire. He does not consume anyone who comes in contact with him; rather, he makes him beautiful and radiant as He is. God is a transformative and purifying fire. Moses is drawn by the beauty of God and is invited to participate in his very nature. As Moses ventured closer, he is instructed to take off his shoes and is made aware of the holiness of the ground on which he stands. This is not an admonition but a call to intimacy. It is symbolic of human nakedness before God, an expression both of humility and confidence, of both powerlessness and innocence.
Like many other messengers of God, Moses too hesitates in accepting the mission, a sign of his awareness of his unworthiness and frailty, and is then reminded that the mission will be accomplished not by human ability but by divine strength.
God reveals himself saying, “I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob”. Though he is God of the great men of old, he is in touch with every individual in the present. He is not a distant God, untouched by human helplessness. He says, ‘the cry of the sons of Israel has come to me”. This is our consolation. This is our hope. We are not alone. God is Emmanuel; he is very much part of our reality.
Response: The Lord is compassionate and gracious.
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