Some thoughts from the Bible readings at Mass today: .
. The young man stood quietly before the judge’s bench. There was
no hint of emotion in his eyes, no movement in his muscles. “Do you
wish to say anything before the court sentences you,” the judge asked.
After a moment’s delay, the young man began to sob violently. He turned
to face his young wife, who was held tightly in the embrace of her
parents. “I am so sorry,” he sobbed, “so sorry. I never meant to kill
our son.” Through his tears he retold what everyone in the courtroom
already knew: “I was alone with our baby and he kept crying. I tried
everything to get him to stop. I fed him, and he kept crying; I changed
him, and he kept crying; I held him, and he kept crying; I rocked him in
my arms, and he kept crying. I didn’t know what else to do. I started
to shake him, because I was so frustrated.” He could say no more.
. Moses spoke to God in similar words about the Israelites in the
desert, overwrought with frustration that they kept crying out no matter
what he did. When that event from Exodus is retold in the book of
Numbers we learn that Moses didn’t pray for the people’s death – he was
so frustrated with the constant crying and complaining of the people,
that prayed for his own death so that he wouldn’t have to put up with
the complaints any longer! . God, however, being God, didn’t do
that. He just gave and gave and gave. When the people cried out in
bondage in Egypt, He set them free. When they cried out in hunger, He
fed them – quail by night and manna by morning. When they cried out in
thirst, He brought forth water from a rock. When they were lost, He gave
them a pillar of fire by night and of smoke by day. He just kept giving
and giving and giving – just enough for each day, because that’s what
God does. One day at a time. Every day. Just enough. . Fast
forward to the time of Saint Paul. Frustrated by similar behaviors among
the Christians at Ephesus, he wrote to them, cautioning them not to be
caught up in the “futility” of their minds. Our minds, you see, can play
tricks on us, and lead us to anxiety and worry, distress and fear.
Instead, Paul urged the Ephesian Christians to look to Christ, and with
sarcasm dripping from his pen as he wrote, Paul adds, “I assume you have
heard of Christ.” Of course they had: Paul had taught them himself.
Now, however, they were acting as though they hadn’t heard of Him.
. Christ it is who gives us the greatest example of trusting in a
heavenly Father who provides for our needs, and not giving in to anxiety
or fear or worry. He even taught us to pray that way, “Give us this day
our daily bread.” Not a year’s worth or a week’s worth, but a day’s
supply only. Not enough to provide for a comfortable retirement, but
just enough to provide for a trust-filled and worry-free day. The Father
will take care of tomorrow in its own time. Jesus also reminds us in
John 6, “It was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father
gives you the true bread from heaven.” Every day. Just enough. .
So we turn to the Father, not as infants who cry incessantly with our
every need, but as Believers who know better, for we know that the
Father will never stop giving and never stop providing what we need, one
day at a time. Every day. Just enough. . That is the example Christ left us. I assume you have heard of Christ?