July 24, 2013


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

Exodus 16:1-5, 9-15
Psalm 78:18-19,23-24,25-26,27-28

What a difference a day makes.

Yesterday God split the Red Sea in one of the most dramatic displays of provision and promise. Today, the Israelites are complaining ... again. In Exodus 14:21 God split the sea in two. In Exodus 16:3 the Chosen People don't think that was enough: "The Israelites said to [Moses], 'If only we had died at the Lord's hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our kettles of meat and ate our fill of bread! But you have led us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of famine!'"

One chapter removed from the miracle and Israel has already forgotten. One chapter ... that's it ... they forgot that quick.

Memory is important in the spiritual life. It's important for us to remember all that God has done for us. In fact, that's exactly why the Church has given us the Responsorial Psalm as such for the past three days: to help us remember the good that God has done.

When you and I struggle, either because of spiritual desolation or because we're being invited to "look" at parts of our life that need healing, we are often tempted to forget that God is faithful. In fact, when we struggle we are tempted to believe that we're alone ... and "we've always been alone" ... and "we're always going to be alone." This, of course, is a lie. God is faithful. Exodus shows us that. The entire Bible shows us that. Even our lives show us that. Thus, when we struggle, when we doubt, we are called to remember. 

Remember that you've struggled before and come out of it. Remember that you've doubted before and have been assured. Remember that you've been in need before and He's come through for you. When you can't see Him now, when you can't hear Him now, press into your intellect: remember everything He's done for you in your past ... certain that that God will come through for you in the future.

© Fr. Mark Toups, 2013


Today, the 169 seminarians continue their course on the Liturgy. Today the men will learn more about how to overcome obstacles to receiving during the Liturgy. They will also learn more about the role of the Liturgy of the Hours in the life of the parish priest. The 22 priests and seminarians here for the Spiritual Exercises are on day 26 of the 30-day retreat.


"The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope."
― Seek That Which Is Above by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger