3rd Sunday of Lent
This week’s readings hold within them some incredible and mystical insights. In our first reading from Exodus we are given something here that is not depicted in the movies. I will let you in on a little Jewish insight. In almost every version of the Moses story we have seen, there is the famous “burning bush” scene. What the movies fail to mention is that Moses first sees an Angel of the Lord! As he moves closer, the Angel vanishes and a burning bush that is not being consumed by the flames is all that remains. After speaking to God, Moses
asks God for a name. Now this is very important. All other gods had names that people could call on them for. Not so in this encounter. God tells Moses “I am who Am”, literally in the Hebrew “I am who is”. Notice it is not “I am who was”, or “I am who will be”, it is “I am who am”. Ever in the present moment, right here, right now. How cool is that little tidbit.
In theological circles we call this name the “Tetragrammaton”. It is a big word which stands for four Hebrew letters. YHVH is the English translation of the Hebrew letters. There are no vowels, and according to Jewish custom, no one is to try and pronounce these letters as a word. To honor that, the word “Lord” is used instead. This is out of respect for the sacredness of God. Something to think about the next time you are tempted to swear or curse using our Lord’s name…St. Paul tells us to consider carefully the Israelites and what happened to them. He invites us to look closely at ourselves and repent and change our ways. In the Gospel, our blessed Lord tells us point blank to repent or we might perish. He wants us to bear fruit and new life, not to be stagnant or dead lest we be cut down like the unproductive fig tree. So, this week as we draw deeper into Lent, let us remember who God is and how He is ever present with us in each and every moment. Let us us reflect on His holiness and the privilege of calling Him our friend. This hopefully will lead us to repent and change our ways and grow ever closer to the one who gave His very life for all of us. Something to think about on this Lenten weekend…May God richly bless you always…