Exodus 3: 1-6

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.”

When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

“The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

“I am with you!”

Today’s first reading recounts how God calls Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses’ first reaction is to ask God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”  It seems like a good question because God is asking Moses to perform no small task. The Israelites are being held in bondage by a great and mighty nation.

Ignatian spirituality insists God is active in the world and in our lives. God is constantly calling and inviting us to be His presence in the world. We have the Spiritual Exercises because of Ignatius’ desire to deepen his own relationship with God and to hear God’s call in his own life. Through Ignatian spirituality we become more attentive and responsive to God’s call in our own lives. Sometimes the call we hear from God can result in the same response we hear from Moses in the first reading.

Our response to God’s call is here and now in the concrete details of our lives. We are called to look beyond our own weakness, failure and unworthiness. God assured Moses “I will be with you.” We have that very same assurance from a God, the depth of whose love for us we cannot imagine.

—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits


Lord, like Moses, we have a question for you. How are we to build your kingdom within our families that too often are torn apart by harsh words, broken promises, and the everyday setbacks of illness and disappointments?  What about our work places that can put a rift between our personal values and the values of the organization?

And how do we manage the silence of our days that can lack direction and cause us to stumble with one foot tripping over the other?  Then we hear your whisper – ever whispering, “I will be with you.”  Our strength is in you, Lord. Our confidence, our hope is the assurance that the depth of your love is beyond our imagination.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team