July 23, 2013


Readings at Mass: Tuesday of 16th Week of Ordinary Time

Exodus 14:21-15:1
Exodus 15:8-9,10,12,17

In today's first reading from the Book of Exodus we continue with the story of Moses, God's triumph during the Passover, and his liberating Israel from slavery. Yesterday we read of Israel's panic as they found themselves pinned against the Red Sea with no way out. Gripped in fear, they lamented to Moses: "Were there no burial places in Egypt that you brought us to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt?" (Exodus 14:11) Confident in the Father's promises, Moses responded: "Do not fear! Stand your ground and see the victory the Lord will win for you today. For these Egyptians whom you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you have only to keep still." (Exodus 14:13-14)

God made a promise to Moses ... and God always comes through on His promises.

Today we read of God's triumph over the Egyptians as He splits the Red Sea in two: "Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord drove back the sea with a strong east wind all night long and turned the sea into dry ground. The waters were split, so that the Israelites entered into the midst of the sea on dry land, with the water as a wall to their right and to their left." (Exodus 14:21-22)

What a story. What a promise. What a God we have. God promised Moses and all of Israel that He would free them from their enemies. Against the greatest of odds requiring the most dramatic of miracles God came through on His promise. However, there is one significant detail we should not overlook. In Exodus 13:17-18 we read: "Now, when Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the Philistines’ land, though this was the nearest; for God said: If the people see that they have to fight, they might change their minds and return to Egypt. Instead, God rerouted them toward the Red Sea by way of the wilderness road, and the Israelites went up out of the land of Egypt arrayed for battle."

That's right ... God purposely lead them to the Red Sea. He intentionally "rerouted" them toward the Red Sea. It seemed ridiculous to Moses. It seemed like a death trap to the Israelites. It seemed as if God had abandoned His promise. However, it was precisely because of the Red Sea that the Israelites were forced to depend on God. And, there, in the most unlikely of ways, and in the most unlikely of timing, God came through on His promise.

The last two weeks we've unpacked our need for healing. Inner healing is dependent upon one thing: God. Our ability to trust the vulnerability necessary for receptivity rests upon our trusting that God comes through on His promises. He promised us that He'd be with us. However, often times we can feel alone when you and I "go" to the places in our hearts that need healing. It's important to not give up. God knew exactly how to liberate the Israelites; however, His plan seemed crazy at the time. Likewise, God knows exactly how to free us, even if it seems as if God isn't doing anything. The key is to be patient. Keep showing up. Keep asking. Keep trusting.

Our God is a God of promises ... and God always comes through on His promises.

© Fr. Mark Toups, 2013


Today, the 169 seminarians continue their course on the Liturgy. Today the men will learn more about how to receive more during the Liturgy. The 22 priests and seminarians here for the Spiritual Exercises are on day 25 of the 30-day retreat.


"With God, even in difficult times or moments of crisis, there is always a horizon of hope: the Incarnation tells us that we are never alone, that God has come to humanity and that He accompanies us."
― Shrine of Loreto, October 4, 2012