For the past four weeks we have been travelling with Moses in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and now Deuteronomy. We first met Moses as an infant who should have been killed by the order of Pharaoh, but was instead saved by Pharaoh’s daughter. Today we are told about his death at the ripe old age of 120 after being shown the Promised Land by the Lord, yet not being allowed to cross over to it.
It has always seemed unfair to me that Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land after all he did leading the people of Israel in the desert. However, as I have listened to the first readings of the last four weeks, I have been repeatedly impressed with Moses’ accomplishments and most especially with the relationship he develops with Yahweh. Or rather, we should say the relationship Yahweh develops with Moses. This relationship is not without its ups and downs.
Moses actually tries to get Yahweh to choose another person to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but Yahweh insists he is the person to do it. At every turn, when Moses faces difficulty, whether it was with Pharaoh or with the constantly complaining Israelites, Yahweh is there with him, giving him the power to part the waters of the Red Sea or to produce life giving water from a rock at Meribah.
In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius encourages us to remember the times of consolation the Lord gives us. He advises us to draw upon these memories in times of desolation. Our memory serves to remind us of the Lord’s constant presence in our lives. We are reminded that God always loves us more deeply than we can ever understand or imagine. I like to think this is especially true when we are disappointed because life does not seem to be treating us fairly.
—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits