Saint for the day: Ignatius of Loyola (October 23, 1491 – July 31, 1556)
Exodus 32:15-24, 30-35 – Psalm 106 – Matthew 13:31 – 35
“Lord, let your light so shine among men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
The story of the Israelites journey to the Promised Land is the perennial story of our own lives. Lives that vacillate from faithfulness to selfishness and back & forth. We at one time know the mercy & love of God in our lives and realize how much God has lifted us and exalted us – and then we get cocky and turn to go our own way. Maybe we don’t make an actual “Golden Calf” but we do turn away from our God towards “fancies” of our own choosing. When Moses comes down the mountain after his encounter with God with his face aglow and hears the noise the Israelites are making he realizes that they have turned away from God’s love and presence in their lives and fashioned strange gods. Discouraged, Moses symbolically breaks the two tablets of the covenant to let the people see how far they have wandered off the path. It’s important for us to see that we’re not just reading a story about people of a long-ago-era that has no relevance to us. It’s also the story of our own lives. In today’s liturgy, the church also gives us Matthew’s Gospel with the images of the mustard seed & the measure of yeast to help us see how quickly God’s wondering love can grow (back) in our lives. And it’s important to know that it’s not of our doing but by God’s grace. The Israelites wandered in and out of God’s favor and are a “type” for us to use in making our own journey to the Kingdom. We should all pause and take stock of our lives to see what kind of “Golden Calves” we have fashioned for ourselves rather than letting God fashion our Earthen Vessels to hold the treasures of His love and Mercy. We all need to ask ourselves in what ways have we wandered off the path to the Kingdom, even when it looks like God is writing straight with crooked lines? Today’s Holy Gospel gives us the image of the mustard seed in terms of our faith. Maybe some of us need to squint to see the mustard-sized seed of faith in our lives that can be fanned into something wonderful of God. Amen!