Today's first reading at Mass has a tiny little line describing a huge human phenomena.
First, the line: "Caleb, however, to quiet the people toward Moses, said, 'We ought to go up and seize the land, for we can certainly do so.'" (Numbers 13:30)
Hmmmmmm. What's the big deal, right? A little commentary ...
God always takes the initiative. God, because He is pure love, always seeks to fill us with His love. We, as creatures created by a God such as this, are designed by God to receive His love. We are designed by God to receive all the blessings that He longs to give us.
For example ... who took the initiative with Pharaoh? God. Who took the initiative in liberating Israel from slavery? God. Who led them through the desert? God. Who gave them miraculous bread from Heaven? God.
Who is leading them to a promised land? God. Who wants to give the Chosen People a new land? God. That's right ... it's God ... and He wants to give it to His Chosen People.
So, here's the scene today. God has led Moses and the Chosen People to the edge of the Promised Land. Moses sends scouts on reconnaissance to find out who's there and what's the land like. After glowing reports describing the land of "milk and honey", fear grips the Israelites. They grow afraid that they won't be able to defeat their enemies. Now, enter Caleb. "Caleb, however, to quiet the people toward Moses, said, 'We ought to go up and seize the land, for we can certainly do so.'" (Numbers 13:30)
Caleb wants to seize the land. He wants to take it. God has promised He would give it to them; however, because of fear, now the Chosen People want to grasp at it. And, that my friends is a classic human response.
God is good (yes, you can say it ... all the time). God is always good, He is always trustworthy. However, we get impatient. We doubt. We get anxious. We forget God. We turn in on ourselves. And, then, we grasp at the very things God wants to give us. Of course, that never works, does it? When we grasp at the very things God wants to give us it always is less that what God could have given us and it usually hurts either us or someone else along the way.
What do you want from God? What do you really want from God? How's God's timing? Are you growing impatient? Are you growing anxious? Do you really trust that waiting on the Lord will work? Don't grasp ... be patient. After all, the story of how God eventually gave the Chosen People the Promised Land is one worth learning from.
© Fr. Mark Toups, 2013
PREPARING FOR MASS THIS WEEKEND
Let's start getting ready for Mass this weekend. Read the readings that will be proclaimed at Mass on Sunday, August 11, the 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time. Click here to read the readings online.
TODAY'S QUOTE FROM POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT XVI
"Always expressed in every prayer, in fact, is the truth of the human creature who on the one hand experiences weakness and impoverishment, who therefore addresses his supplication to Heaven, and on the other is endowed with an extraordinary dignity, so that, in preparing to receive the divine Revelation, finds himself able to enter into communion with God."
― General Audience, May 4, 2011
WHAT DOES GOD SEE WHEN HE SEES YOU?